Posted by: rbbadger | January 3, 2010

The National Assembly

Here is the National Assembly, home to Korea’s unicameral legislature the Tae Han Min Guk Guk Hoe (대한민국국회, 大韓民國國會).  It is made of up 299 members.  243 of these are elected by a plurality of votes from the various districts.  56 of the members are elected by proportional representation, that is additional seats are given to the various political parties proportional to the number of votes their party obtained. 

Formerly, members of the National Assembly met in the old assembly building in central Seoul which was built by the Japanese.  Long seen as an unwelcome symbol of Japanese imperialism, it was demolished and the legislature moved to Yeouido, an island in the middle of the Han River in the 1970s.  Yeouido is home to the headquarters of a number of businesses, the world’s largest Assemblies of God church (800,000 members!), and what was once the tallest building in Asia, the 63 Building. 

In the USA, the new president is sworn in on the steps of Congress.  Likewise, the new president of the Republic of Korea is sworn in outside in the bitter cold in January on the grounds of the National Assembly. 

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