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The Strategy for Assuming the Reins of Government of KDP-DNP and Constitutional Conflicts in 1948~1950

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2016, (124), pp.173-220
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

Yi Hye-young 1

1강릉원주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to analyze the strategy for assuming the reins of government of the Korean Democratic Party(KDP, reorganized as the Democratic National Party[DNP] on February 10, 1949) in connection with constitutional conflicts after the establishment of the government. KDP that led the sole government establishment with Rhee Syng-man at first tried to adopt the parliamentary cabinet system Constitution, and after it failed to take control of the government by taking more than half of the cabinet to come into power. However, Rhee declared bipartisanism and excluded them from the Cabinet. Afterwards, KDP designated ‘Reorganizing Cabinet’ as the official policy and launched an offensive against key figures in the Cabinet, including Yi Bum-suk, Yun Chi-young and Im Young-sin. In this process, KDP used the parliamentary criticism of the government. In particular, the constitutional amendment to the parliamentary cabinet system was a powerful means of pressing Rhee Syng-man. In the end, Rhee replaced the Cabinet with the KDP-DNP line, and in June 1949, DNP occupied more than half of the Cabinet. However, this did not imply that DNP became the ruling party. The new members of the Cabinet were confined to the An-dong Group, a direct group of the Rhee Syng-man in DNP, and Il-mingroup, a company of pro-Rhee forces to curb DNP in the parliament. Eventually, DNP submitted the constitutional amendment to the parliamentary cabinet system on January 27, 1950, which implied that the Party abandoned the compromising method of infiltration of the Cabinet and tried to deprive Rhee as the head of administration. It could be actually considered as regime change. When the constitutional amendment was submitted, Rhee Syng-man voted down it by mobilizing his supporters inside and outside of the parliament. But conflict was not end. Since Rhee formalized the promotion of the Constitutional Amendment in direct presidential election and bicameral System simultaneously with the reject of the Constitutional Amendment bill on March 14. As a result, the constitutional conflict structure of the parliamentary cabinet system versus direct presidential election and bicameral System became clear, and such conflicts ended after putting the evacuation capital Busan into a political turmoil in the summer of 1952. By succeeding in rectifying the direct election system, Rhee strengthened the power structure of the presidential system and solidified the foundation of one-person power regime. On the other hand, DNP fixed as an opposition party, and only the replacement of power through elections remained as their ruling means.

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