Korea is again entering an era of local autonomy. After General Park Chung Hee seized power through a military coup in 1961, Korean local governments did not have substantial political and administrative decision-making power for 30 years. During an earlier period of the Republic, under the 'Local Autonomy Law' of 1949, Korean local governments had been locally formed policy-making assemblies whose members were locally elected by the inhabitants. For some time in that period even the chief executives of the local governments were elected by the area residents. In 1961, however, the military governments adopted the so-called 'Law Concerning Temporary Measures for Local Autonomy', which suspended the functions of all local assemblies, and the administrative heads of local units became appointive. Following that decision, local governing functions were controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs- and the respective provincial governors who were appointed by the President. There was, therefore, essentially no political decentralization at all in Korea from 1961 to 1991 (Jung, 1987: 526). In 1991, however, the local assemblies were reorganized. In addition to the locally formed assemblies, the chief executives of local governments were elected directly by residents in 1995. These direct elections have enabled the Korean local governments regain their nominal political decision-making power. In practical terms, however, there still remain a substantial number of central controls in the central-local government relationship.