Grand National Party: Wikis


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Grand National Party
President Chung Mong-joon
Secretary general Hwang Woo-yea
Assembly leader Hong Joon-pyo
Founded November 21, 1997 (1997-11-21)
Headquarters Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Ideology Conservatism,
Liberal conservatism
Political position Right-wing
International affiliation International Democrat Union
Official colours Blue
Seats in the National Assembly
Politics of South Korea
Political parties
Grand National Party
Hangul 한나라당
Hanja 한나라黨
Revised Romanization Hannaradang
McCune–Reischauer Hannaradang

The Grand National Party is a conservative political party in South Korea. Its Korean name, Hannara, has a double meaning as "Great National" and "Korean National." The GNP currently holds a majority of seats in the 18th Assembly, lasting from 2008 to 2012.



The party was founded in 1997 as a merger of various conservative parties. Its earliest ancestor was the Democratic Republican Party under the rule of Park Chung-hee in 1963 . Upon Park's death and at the beginning of the rule of Chun Doo-hwan in 1980, it was reconstituted and renamed as the Democratic Justice Party. In 1988 party member Roh Tae-woo introduced a wide range of political reforms including direct Presidential elections and a new constitution. The party was renamed in 1993, during the presidency of Kim Young-sam, with the merger of other parties to form the Democratic Liberal Party (Minju Jayudang). It was renamed as the New Korea Party (Sinhangukdang) in 1995, and it finally became the Grand National Party in November 1997 following its merger with the smaller Democratic Party, and various conservative parties. Three months later, with the election of Kim Dae-jung of the Centrist Reformists Democratic Party, as president, the party's governing role came to an end, beginning its first ever period in opposition which would last ten years.

Following the 2000 parliamentary elections it was the single largest political party, with 54% of the vote and 147 seats out of 271. The party was defeated in the parliamentary election in 2004 following the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun, gaining only 121 seats out of 299. The defeat reflected public disapproval of the impeachment which was instigated by the party. It was the first time in its history that the party had not won the most seats. It gained back six seats in by-elections, bringing it to 127 seats as of October 28, 2005.


Current status

On December 19, 2007, the GNP's candidate Lee Myung-bak won the presidential election [1] ending the party's period in opposition.

In the April 2008 general election, the GNP secured a majority of 153 seats out of 299 and gained power in the administration and the parliament as well as most local governments.

On the performance of President Lee Myung-bak and of Grand National Party, 25.4 percent of the population of South Korea recently answered "good" and 67.3 percent "bad" according to a poll by Donga Ilbo conducted in August 2008.[2] Poll numbers for the opposition, however, were even lower.

One of the main bases of popular support of the party originates from the conservative, traditionalist elite and the rural population, except for farmers. It is strongest in the Gyeongsang region. Former party head and 2007 presidential candidate Park Geun-hye is the daughter of former President Park Chung-hee who ruled from 1963 to 1979. Although Representative Won Hee-ryeong and Hong Jun-pyo ran for the party primary as reformist candidates, former Seoul mayor and official presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak gained more support (about 40%) from the Korean public.


The GNP stands for a free market economy, small government, free trade, low taxes and entrepreneurship. The GNP favors maintaining a strong alliance with the United States and Japan and strongly scrutinizes human rights abuses in North Korea. Thus, the party's conservative, pro-American stance often makes it the target of criticism by North Korea's state-controlled media.

Presidents of GNP

  1. Cho Soon (November 21, 1997 - November 28, 1998)
    • Lee Han-dong (November 29, 1998 - August 30, 1998) (acting)
  2. Lee Hoi-chang (August 31, 1998 - May 12, 2002)
  3. Seo Cheong-won (May 14, 2002 - May 25, 2003)
  4. Choi Byeong-yul (May 26, 2003 - March 22, 2004)
  5. Park Geun-hye (March 23, 2004 - July 10, 2006)
  6. Kang Jae-sup (July 11, 2006 – July 3, 2008)
  7. Park Hee-tae (July 4, 2008 - September 7, 2009)
  8. Jung Mong-joon ( September 7, 2009 - Incumbent)

See also



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