Banker guilty of mur­ders

South Korean pres­i­dent will not choose PM

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

South Korea’s pres­i­dent will al­low par­lia­ment to choose her prime min­is­ter, a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal con­ces­sion to grow­ing anger as she scram­bles to defuse an es­ca­lat­ing in­flu­ence-ped­dling scan­dal.

The an­nounce­ment by Park Geun-hye, who has faced thou­sands of protesters and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether a mys­te­ri­ous con­fi­dante ma­nip­u­lated govern­ment de­ci­sions, could se­verely curtail her abil­ity to gov­ern in the 15 months she has left in her term.

Park’s de­ci­sion, which came dur­ing a meet­ing yes­ter­day with Na­tional As­sem­bly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun, means that the lib­eral can­di­date for prime min­is­ter who she nom­i­nated last week as a way to set­tle grow­ing anger will ap­par­ently be re­placed. But op­po­si­tion and rul­ing party law­mak­ers must first agree on some­one else.

The po­lit­i­cal tug-of-war over the prime min­is­ter, who is typ­i­cally cho­sen by the pres­i­dent as a No. 2, comes as op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers de­mand that Park dis­tance her­self from do­mes­tic af­fairs be­cause of the scan­dal in­volv­ing Park’s long­time con­fi­dante, Choi Soon-sil, who has no of­fi­cial govern­ment role.

Park giv­ing up the pres­i­den­tial pre­rog­a­tive to choose a prime min­is­ter will fur­ther weaken her po­lit­i­cally. She al­ready faces ter­ri­ble ap­proval rat­ings and calls from the pub­lic to step down.

Ear­lier yes­ter­day, South Korean prose­cu­tors raided the Seoul of­fice of Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics, the na­tion’s largest and most valu­able com­pany, in con­nec­tion with the scan­dal.

The Seoul Cen­tral District Prose­cu­tors’ Of­fice linked the Sam­sung raid to an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the scan­dal but pro­vided no other details.

South Korea’s Yon­hap news agency said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were fol­low­ing a sus­pi­cion that Sam­sung gave Choi’s daugh­ter il­licit fi­nan­cial help.

Tens of thou­sands of peo­ple ral­lied in Seoul at the week­end, de­mand­ing Park’s re­moval from of­fice.

Nam Jeong-su, of Korean Con­fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions, said he ex­pects 150,000 union­ists, plus sup­port­ers, to gather on Satur­day and march to the pres­i­den­tial Blue House. A Bri­tish banker has been con­victed of mur­der af­ter killing two In­done­sian women in Hong Kong, tor­tur­ing one of them over three days while us­ing co­caine in a grue­some case. The nine-per­son jury re­turned unan­i­mous ver­dicts against Rurik Jut­ting af­ter a two-week trial in the High Court. The slay­ings in 2014 and dis­clo­sures as the case de­vel­oped high­lighted Hong Kong’s sig­nif­i­cant in­equal­ity as well as the deca­dent life­styles of some mem­bers of the for­mer Bri­tish colony’s ex­pa­tri­ate elite. Jut­ting bowed his head as the ver­dicts were read out. He was given an au­to­matic manda­tory life sen­tence.

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