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South Korea constitutional court ordered dissolution of leftist Unified Progressive Party

Constitutional court of South Korea on 19 December 2014 ordered the dissolution of leftist Unified Progressive party (UPP) accused of pro-North Korea activities.

Dec 20, 2014 18:18 IST
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Constitutional court of South Korea on 19 December 2014 ordered the dissolution of leftist Unified Progressive party (UPP) accused of pro-North Korea activities.

This is the first time that constitutional court of South Korea ordered the breakup of the political party since it was founded in 1988.

The Unified Progressive party is a merger of small progressive groups which was founded in 2011. It has five lawmakers and court deprived all of them of their seats.

In November 2013, the Justice Ministry of South Korea petitioned the court to disband the Unified Progressive party (UPP) for supporting North Korea-style socialist systems and posing a threat to liberal democracy of South Korea.

Earlier, UPP party members were arrested for allegedly plotting a pro-Pyongyang rebellion to overthrow the South Korean government in the event of a war on the Korean peninsula before to the petition.

However, UPP members argue that they wanted only greater reconciliation with North Korea. They accuse the South Korea’s spy service of fabricating the rebellion charges to divert criticism over revelations that spy agents launched illicit online campaigning to help then ruling party candidate, now the president, and win elections in December 2012.

Comment

The court order exposes limits of freedom of expression in South Korea. The President Park’s government infringes upon freedom of speech and could further aggravate a bitter political divide between the right and left.

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