United New Democratic Party

United New Democratic Party

Korean  Daetonghap Minju Shin Dang , formerly (1997–2000)  National Congress for New Politics  and  (2000–05)  Millennium Democratic Party 

      centrist-liberal political party in South Korea (Korea, South).

      The party was founded by Kim Dae Jung in 1995 as the National Congress for New Politics. Three years later, in the wake of corruption scandals within the ruling New Korea Party (merged with the Democratic Party in 1997 to become the Grand National Party [GNP]), Kim became the first opposition leader to be elected president of South Korea. In 2000 the party changed its name to the Millennium Democratic Party (MDP). After disappointing results for the MDP in the 2001 legislative elections, in which the party won 61 seats, Kim resigned as the party leader.

      Upon the election of Pres. Roh Moo Hyun in 2002, the party splintered over ideological differences, and Roh's supporters established the Uri Party in 2003. In the 2004 elections the MDP retained only 9 seats in the National Assembly, while the Uri Party captured a majority, winning 152 of a possible 299 seats. The MDP sided with the conservative GNP and voted to impeach Roh for electoral misconduct. The move was highly unpopular with the Korean public, however, and the MDP subsequently changed its name to the Democratic Party (DP) to distance itself from the issue. The Uri Party, unable to capitalize on its legislative majority, lost ground through a series of by-elections, and its popularity dropped into the single digits.

      In anticipation of the 2007 presidential election, liberal politicians reorganized, disbanding the Uri Party and merging with a host of smaller parties under the banner of the United New Democratic Party (UNDP). In 2008, after much negotiation and following a landslide victory by GNP presidential candidate Lee Myung-bak, DP members reunited with their former colleagues in the UNDP to form the United Democratic Party (UDP). In the legislative elections that year, the UDP lost its majority in the National Assembly to the GNP. The party supports greater human rights, improved relations with North Korea (Korea, North), and an economic policy described as “new progressivism.”

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Universalium. 2010.

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