Pressured SKorean leader conducts speedy reshuffle

President Park Geun-hye replaces several key aides but scandal continues to loom around Seoul’s Blue House

Pressured SKorean leader conducts speedy reshuffle

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean President Park Geun-hye began filling the gaps in her secretariat Sunday, made vacant after she accepted the resignations of five senior secretaries and other aides who quit over a snowballing scandal that has raised questions over who has been calling the shots at the Blue House.

Two new names have been confirmed so far -- a former prosecutor and an ex-parliamentary speaker -- and a presidential spokesperson announced that the rest of the shakeup would soon be completed to meet demands for “a personnel revamp”.

But Park has resisted calls for her own resignation from thousands of citizens who took to the streets to protest by candlelight the previous evening -- with an approval rating plummeting below 20 percent for the first time, the president stands accused of allowing close confidante Choi Soon-sil to secretly hold sway over state affairs.

Park apologized last Tuesday for getting Choi to check over drafts of speeches, although public anger over the unofficial aide’s alleged role in steering the country also stems from a series of other claims.

Aside from the pair’s close family ties going back decades to the president’s late father and former South Korean leader Park Chung-hee, Choi is suspected of abusing her connections for financial gain and ensuring preferential treatment for her daughter at a top Seoul university.

Choi returned to South Korea from Europe on Sunday morning to face questioning in the coming days by prosecutors, whose growing investigation led them to raid the homes and offices of figures close to the president over the weekend.

They were, however, blocked from entering the Blue House on the grounds of protecting classified documents.

Investigators revealed that they were also stopped during a second attempt to raid the presidential office Sunday morning.

Last Mod: 30 Ekim 2016, 13:53
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