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South Korea

Yearbook 2012

South Korea. According to countryaah, hundreds of journalists at three state-funded media companies, a news agency and two TV companies, launched strikes at the beginning of the year in protest of censorship from corporate management. They claimed that critical reporting on President Lee Myung Bak was stopped. The strikes lasted for several months.

The ruling Great National Party (GNP) changed its name to Saenuri in February. The name change was assumed to be an attempt to strengthen the cards for upcoming elections. The Speaker of Parliament, Park Hee Tee, who belonged to the ruling party, resigned a few days later after prosecutors opened an investigation into allegations that he had used bribes to be elected to the post in 2010.

Saenuri managed to retain its majority in the National Assembly by a small margin when elections were held in April. The victory was seen as a personal triumph for party leader Park Geun-hye. She had managed to distance the party from President Lee's government, which was increasingly unpopular, mainly because of corruption scandals and attempts to control the media as well as the growing gaps between poor and rich. However, the biggest opposition party, which since 2011 called itself the Democratic United Party (DUP), failed to take advantage of the dissatisfaction with the government.

In July, President Lee apologized to the people for a corruption scandal involving his own brother, who was recently arrested along with several other high-ranking politicians and officials.

Saenuri appointed a candidate for the presidential election in August Park. In a statement, she later publicly apologized to those who suffered from the oppression when her father, Park Chung Hee, was president in 1961-79.

In September, the DUP appointed former human rights lawyer Moon Jae In, chief of staff under President Roh Moo Hyun in the 1990s, as his candidate.

The election held in December resulted in a victory for Park, which received close to 52% of the vote and became the first woman to be elected president of South Korea.

2012 South Korea


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