South Korea held its first national elections in 1987, after more than 25 years of authoritarian, military backed governments. During this elections, there was the first effort at election monitoring, reportedly by some 100,000 poll watchers. Most of this election-related activism was conducted by dissident groups and other partisan members of the opposition. During the 1991 elections for local councilors, the emerging NGO movement split to follow two different strategies: a YMCA-led coalition fielded candidates in the elections, while an umbrella group led by the Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice (CCEJ) limited its role to conducting voter education and election monitoring. Almost all the NGO candidates lost and, as a result, the politically active NGOs joined to form the Citizens’ Coalition for Clean and Fair Election (CCCFE) to monitor the 1992 legislative and presidential elections.
Currently, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), founded in 1994, has actively been working on promoting people’s participation in government decision making processes and socio-economic reforms, by closely monitoring the abuse of power of the state and corporations to enhance transparency and accountability.
The Republic of Korea National Election Commission (NEC) is in charged of monitoring and controlling the activities that impede fair elections, especially internet media for fair coverage.
Making Every Vote Count: Domestic Election Monitoring in Asia, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, 1996, https://www.ndi.org/files/195_asia_making.pdf.
People’s Solidarity for Participation Democracy (PSPD),http://www.peoplepower21.org/English/39340.
Republic of Korea National Election Commission, http://www.nec.go.kr/engvote_2013/01_aboutnec/01_01.jsp.