1980 South Korean presidential election

← 1979 27 August 1980 1981 →

2,540 members of the National Conference for Unification
1,271 votes needed to win
Nominee Chun Doo-hwan
Party Independent
Electoral vote 2,524

Votes of the National Conference for Unification
  Chun Doo-hwan: 2524
  Invalid/Blank: 1
  Did not vote: 15

President before election

Park Choong-hoon (Acting)

Elected President

Chun Doo-hwan

Indirect presidential elections were held in South Korea on 27 August 1980 to fill the vacancy caused by President Choi Kyu-hah's resignation.

Under the 1972 Yushin Constitution, the president was elected by the National Conference for Unification, whose 2,540 members had been elected for a six-year term of office in December 1978. General Chun Doo-hwan was the only candidate, and was elected unopposed.[1]

Chun was to serve for the remainder of the 1978–1984 term of longtime president Park Chung-hee, who had died in 1979 and been replaced by Choi. However, Chun subsequently decided to end the Fourth Republic and draft a new constitution, which was promulgated in October 1980 after being approved in a referendum. The first presidential election under the new constitution was held in February 1981, and Chun was elected by an overwhelming majority.[2]


After the assassination of the military dictator President Park Chung-hee in October 1979, Prime Minister Choi Kyu-hah was elected president in the December 1979 elections. However, General Chun Doo-hwan staged the Coup d'état of December Twelfth and effectively took control of the government, making President Choi a figurehead. However, on 16 August 1980, following the Coup d'état of May Seventeenth, Chun removed Choi from office so he could become president himself.


In order to be elected, a candidate had to receive the vote of over 50% of the incumbent members of the National Conference for Unification. With 2,540 delegates present, Chun had to receive at least 1,271 votes to be elected. He received 2,524 votes, 99.37% of the total possible.

Chun Doo-hwanIndependent2,524100.00
Valid votes2,52499.96
Invalid/blank votes10.04
Total votes2,525100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,54099.41

Electors per region

Region Eligible electors Vacancies Total
Seoul 388 3 391
Busan 145 0 145
Gyeonggi 315 4 319
Gangwon 148 3 151
North Chungcheong 129 2 131
South Chungcheong 229 6 235
North Jeolla 202 1 203
South Jeolla 308 4 312
North Gyeongsang 367 12 379
South Gyeongsang 282 8 290
Jeju 27 0 27
Total 2,540 43 2,583


  1. ^ Croissant, Aurel. "Electoral Politics in South Korea" (PDF). Friedrich Ebert Foundation. p. 266.
  2. ^ Editors, History com. "South Korea". HISTORY. Retrieved 2019-03-29.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)