South Korea’s Pres­i­dent Park ‘will­ing to re­sign’

Fiji Sun - - World News - Jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

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

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