Park said to prefer resigning on own terms
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.
Leaders of South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung and Hyundai, take an oath at a parliamentary hearing in Seoul on Tuesday.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye reportedly is willing to accept an impeachment outcome.