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.