Political Party Affiliation

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    An indicator showing party affiliation rate and political participation in South Korea

  • B. How to measure

    Total number of party members to total population by each year

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Periodicity
    Right to Freedom Fundamental Freedom Freedom of Association Subjective/Result National Election Commission Outlook on Activities of Political Parties and Accounting Report 2004 1 year
  • D. Interpretation

    Freedom of party affiliation is based on domestic and international law. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the legal basis for freedom of party affiliation which states “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”. Every citizen has the right to support a party that represents his or her interests and to engage in party activities. Two legal examples can be given for this. First, Article 21 paragraph 1 of the Constitution states “All people have the freedom of press, publication, assembly, and association”. And Political Parties Act Article 22 Paragraph 1 stipulates “Anyone who has the right to elect members of the National Assembly are entitled to become either a promoter or a member of a political party, notwithstanding the provisions of other statutes that prohibit him/her from joining any particular political party or engaging in political activity due to their status as a public official or others”. Since 2010 the status of party affiliation has changed. The number of political party members has increased from 4.8 million in 2010 to 7.8 million in 2018, and the ratio has increased by 15 percent compared to the total population. In the past, citizens who were satisfied with the level of voting rights execution are now sponsoring or supporting lawmakers by joining parties and expressing their opinions clearly. Although conflicts among party supporters may escalate, this is an essential process for the development of democracy. Recently, the scope of political activities and expression of opinion had expanded with young citizens in their 20s and 30s actively joining political parties.

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