S. Korea op­po­si­tion pushes to im­peach PM

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

South Korea’s main op­po­si­tion party said Mon­day it would seek to im­peach Prime Min­is­ter Lee Wan­loo, one of a num­ber of top of­fi­cials in Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye’s ad­min­is­tra­tion fac­ing bribery al­le­ga­tions.

The scan­dal was trig­gered by the sui­cide of a pow­er­ful busi­ness­man, who be­fore his death al­leged he had given po­lit­i­cal funds to the prime min­is­ter and two close Park as­so­ciates.

The pres­i­dent has vowed to pun­ish “any­one” found in­volved in cor­rup­tion, while Lee has ig­nored calls from the op­po­si­tion New Pol­i­tics Al­liance for Democ­racy (NPAD) to step down.

“Cit­i­zens can­not wait any more,” NPAD chief Moon Jae-in told a party meet­ing Mon­day in Seong­nam south of Seoul.

“Our party will push for a bill to dis­miss him,” Moon said on tele­vi­sion.

He urged the rul­ing Saenuri Party to agree on a quick vote in par­lia­ment.

Sung Wan-jong, the for­mer head of a bank­rupt con­struc­tion com­pany, hanged him­self on a hill­side near his house in Seoul on April 9.

In his pocket, in­ves­ti­ga­tors found a note that listed the names of eight peo­ple — in­clud­ing Lee and pres­i­den­tial chief of staff Lee Byung-kee — along­side fig­ures that were al­leged to in­di­cate bribery sums.

The sui­cide came as Sung was about to be ques­tioned by pros­e­cu­tors over al­le­ga­tions that he cre­ated a slush fund with em­bez­zled com­pany money to bribe politi­cians and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

In an ear­lier news­pa­per

in­ter- view, Sung claimed to have given Lee 30 mil­lion won ( NT$837,157; US$27,000) in cash in 2013 when he was run­ning for a par­lia­men­tary seat.

Lee has an­grily de­nied the al­le­ga­tion and said he would “lay down” his life if pros­e­cu­tors find any ev­i­dence that he took bribes.

The af­fair is a fresh blow to Pres­i­dent Park, whose pop­u­lar­ity rat­ings were only just be­gin­ning to re­cover from the hit they took af­ter the Se­wol ferry dis­as­ter a year ago that killed 304 peo­ple.

Park has re­peat­edly been crit­i­cized for the ap­point­ments she has made in the two years since tak­ing of­fice.

A num­ber of her nom­i­nees for se­nior posts have been forced to with­draw be­cause of al­le­ga­tions of past mis­con­duct.

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