A Study on the Possibility of Introducing Electoral Eligibility for Permanent Alien Residents

정주외국인의 피선거권 도입 가능성에 관한 연구

  • 이윤환 (건양대학교 국방경찰행정학부)
  • Received : 2013.01.08
  • Accepted : 2013.03.20
  • Published : 2013.03.31


With increase of Korean economy scale and globalization, permanent alien residents in Korea are increasing day by day. Living in Korea, they maintain their original nationalities, but their life in Korea is greatly affected by political decision made by Korea. It has been taken for granted that foreigners's suffrage were not recognized due to national sovereignty. The claim that foreigners should not be allowed to participate in government has constantly been met with counterargument on the basis of instability of sovereignty principle, trends of advanced countries, intrinsic differences between federal and regional governments, or actual state of foreigners. It is unreasonable to deal with foreigners' suffrage and eligibility for election differently in that the current public offices election law does not allow foreigners to be eligible for election without any special reason while allowing foreigners to vote in the local election. It is discrimination against foreigners not to allow foreigners to be eligible for election when there is no rationale to differently deal with foreigners' suffrage and eligibility for election. This paper deals with constitutional argument regarding foreigners' electoral eligibility, takes a look at legislative cases of Japanese and European countries, and examines possibilities of including foreigners' eligibility for election in our public offices election law.


permanent alien residents;human rights;voting rights;electoral eligibility;local election;permanent residentship