Conservatives Seek to Limit Voting Rights for Foreign Nationals

Measure is aimed at ethnic Koreans who are Chinese nationals.

Conservatives Seek to Limit Voting Rights for Foreign Nationals

Image: Logo of the Ministry of Justice. Credit: Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice 법무부 and the ruling People Power Party 국민의힘 proposed to limit the voting rights of foreign nationals. Since 2005, non-Korean citizens who are permanent residents of South Korea have been able to vote in Local Elections 지방선거 after living in Korea for at least three years. Approximately 106k non-Korean citizens are eligible to vote; 80% of qualified permanent residents are Chinese nationals, most of whom are ethnic Koreans who have repatriated.

On December 5, Justice Minister Han Dong-hun 한동훈 said the current system lacked mutuality, taking aim at the Chinese nationals by arguing that similarly situated South Korean nationals could not vote in China. On December 7, PPP Assembly Member Hong Seok-jun 홍석준 국민의힘 국회의원 proposed a revision to the Public Official Election Act 공직선거법 that would disenfranchise non-Korean permanent residents from countries that do not allow South Korean nationals to vote.

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