Park said to pre­fer re­sign­ing on own terms

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye is will­ing to “calmly” ac­cept the out­come if the op­po­si­tion-con­trolled par­lia­ment votes for her im­peach­ment this week, but prefers to re­sign on her own terms, law­mak­ers from her party said on Tues­day.

Chung Jin-suk, floor leader of the con­ser­va­tive rul­ing party, said af­ter an hour­long meet­ing with Park that the pres­i­dent was will­ing to ac­cept a now-with drawn pro­posal by the party for her to vol­un­tar­ily step down in April to set up a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in June.

If law­mak­ers vote to im­peach her, Park said, she would make “every avail­able ef­fort” to pre­pare for a court process that would de­ter­mine whether she would be for­mally re­moved, ac­cord­ing to Chung.

The party’s chair­man, Lee Jung-hyun, who also at­tended the meet­ing, said it seemed that Park was hop­ing law­mak­ers would ac­cept her resignation rather than push ahead with an at­tempt to im­peach her.

Park has been ac­cused by state pros­e­cu­tors of help­ing a close con­fi­dante to ex­tort money and fa­vors from large com­pa­nies and ma­nip­u­late state af­fairs.

Also on Tues­day, eight cor­po­rate chiefs told a par­lia­men­tary panel that they were not seek­ing fa­vors when they made con­tri­bu­tions to two foun­da­tions at the heart of a scan­dal that ap­pears poised to bring down Park.

The bosses of con­glom­er­ates con­trol­ling rev­enue equiv­a­lent to more than half the coun­try’s econ­omy were ques­tioned about whether they were pres­sured by Park or a friend and aide to give money to non­profit foun­da­tions in ex­change for spe­cial treat­ment.

Sam­sung Group leader Jay Y. Lee said Park had asked him dur­ing one-on-one meet­ings for sup­port for boost­ing cul­tural and sports-re­lated de­vel­op­ments but did not specif­i­cally re­quest money.

Sam­sung do­nated 20.4 bil­lion won ($17.45 mil­lion) to the two foun­da­tions.

JEON HEON-KYUN / GETTY IM­AGES

Lead­ers of South Korean con­glom­er­ates, in­clud­ing Sam­sung and Hyundai, take an oath at a par­lia­men­tary hear­ing in Seoul on Tues­day.

YON­HAP VIA REUTERS

South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye re­port­edly is will­ing to ac­cept an im­peach­ment out­come.

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