SOUTH KOREA: In 1960, a student uprising (the "4.19 Revolution") led to the resignation of the autocratic President Syngman Rhee. A period of political instability followed, broken by General Park Chung-hee's military coup (the "5.16 coup d'état") against the weak and ineffectual government the next year. Park took over as president until his assassination in 1979, overseeing rapid export-led economic growth as well as severe political repression. Park was heavily criticised as a ruthless military dictator, although the Korean economy developed significantly during his tenure. The years after Park's assassination were marked again by political turmoil, as the previously repressed opposition leaders all campaigned to run for president in the sudden political void. In 1979 there was Coup d'état of December Twelfth by General Chun Doo-hwan. After the Coup d'état, Chun Doo-hwan planned to rise to power with several measures. On May 17, Chun Doo-hwan forced the Cabinet to expand martial law to the whole nation, which had previously not applied to Jeju-do. The expanded martial law closed universities, banned political activities and further curtailed the press. Chun assumed the presidency by the event of May 17, triggering nationwide protests demanding democracy, in particular in the city of Gwangju, where Chun sent special forces to violently suppress the Gwangju Democratization Movement. Chun subsequently created the National Defense Emergency Policy Committee and took the presidency according to his political plan. Chun and his government held Korea under a despotic rule until 1987, when a Seoul National University student was tortured to death TAIWAN: The ROC remained a de facto one-party state under martial law under the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion", from 1948 to 1987, when the ROC Presidents Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui gradually liberalized and democratized the system. With the advent of democratization, the issue of the political status of Taiwan has resurfaced as a controversial issue (previously, discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo). THAILAND From 1939 - 1997 Thailand was run by a flurry of civilian and military rulers. The 1997 Constitution was the first constitution to be drafted by popularly elected Constitutional Drafting Assembly, and was popularly called the "People's Constitution". The 1997 Constitution created a bicameral legislature consisting of a 500-seat House of Representatives (สภาผู้แทนราษฎร, sapha phutaen ratsadon) and a 200-seat Senate (วุฒิสภา, wuthisapha). For the first time in Thai history, both houses were directly elected. Many human rights are explicitly acknowledged, and measures were established to increase the stability of elected governments. PHILLIPINES: In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was elected president, his wife Imelda Marcos at his side. Nearing the end of his second term and constitutionally barred from seeking a third, he declared martial law on September 21, 1972. By using political divisions, the tension of the Cold War, and the specter of communist rebellion and Islamic insurgency as justifications, he was able to govern by decree. A metal statute of a woman wearing a hooded cloak with a kindly expression whose shoulder and outstretched hand are perched on by stylized birds A statue of the Virgin Mary built at the EDSA Shrine after the People Power Revolution On August 21, 1983, Marcos' chief rival opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. ignored warnings and returned from exile in the United States. He was assassinated as he was taken off the plane at the Manila International Airport (now called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his memory). With political pressure building, Marcos eventually called for snap presidential elections in 1986. Corazon Aquino, Benigno's widow, was persuaded to become the presidential candidate and standard bearer of the opposition. The elections were widely thought of as rigged when Marcos was proclaimed the winner. This led to the People Power Revolution, instigated when two long-time Marcos alliesArmed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief-of-Staff Fidel V. Ramos and Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrileresigned and barricaded themselves in Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame. Exhorted by the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin, people gathered in support of the rebel leaders and protested on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). In the face of mass protests and military defections, Marcos and his allies fled to Hawaii and into exile. Corazon Aquino was recognized as president. The return of democracy and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a persistent communist insurgency, and Islamic separatists. The economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected president in 1992 JAPAN (Don't know what to think, the elections are free but hmm...) Japan Liberal Democratic Party, in power 19551993 and 19942009. Singapore (Don't know what to think, the elections are free but hmm...) The PAP has dominated parliament from 1959 until today.