South Korea’s President Park ‘willing to resign’
Seoul: South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye has said she has asked Parliament to help her find a way to stand down. Ms Park faced growing calls to resign amid an investigation into whether she allowed a longtime friend to influence political decisions for personal gain. She said she would “leave to Parliament everything about my future including shortening of my term”, but did not want to leave a power vacuum. Parliament is due to discuss tomorrow whether she should face impeachment. Some in the ruling party had said the President should stand down “honourably” before it reached that point. Opposition parties accuse her of now trying to escape impeachment. Ms Park has apologised twice before, and has said she is “heartbroken” by the political crisis around her, but has refused to stand down.
In Tuesday’s televised address, her third since reports of the scandal began, Ms Park said she would step down “once lawmakers come up with measures to transfer power in a way that minimises any power vacuum and chaos in governance”. A spokesperson for the Opposition Democratic Party, Youn Kwan-suk, said the speech was a “trick” which “lacked reflection”. “What people want is her immediate resignation, not dragging out and dodging the responsibility to the Parliament,” he told the
The scandal stems from the president’s relationship with her close friend, Choi Soon-sil. Ms Choi is accused of trying to extort huge sums of money from South Korean companies. She is also suspected of using her friendship with Ms Park to solicit business donations for a non-profit fund she controlled.
It is also alleged that Ms Park passed large numbers of confidential government documents to Ms Choi, via an aide.
Ms Choi is in Police detention, facing a string of charges. BBC