SKorea president to concede state affairs to new pm

President Park Geun-hye abandons traditional unilateral choice of PM system, handing over decision to lawmakers

SKorea president to concede state affairs to new pm

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean leader Park Geun-hye relented under political pressure Tuesday by offering to accept a prime minister chosen by lawmakers to govern state affairs, representing a shift from the country’s president-focused system.

Park’s proposal came during a visit to Seoul’s parliament, the National Assembly, where she was greeted by calls for her resignation from some opposition politicians.

The calls echoed those of civilian protesters, who marched in their tens of thousands through the capital Saturday after the president’s approval rating dropping to just five percent.

Organizers estimated that up to 100,000 took part in the demonstration, following numerous protests nationwide since a major scandal erupted around the president last month.

Under the threat of investigation due to power abuse allegations surrounding the presidential office, Park backtracked Tuesday from the recent Cabinet reshuffle which prompted lawmakers to reject her own unilateral PM nominee.

The president conceded during a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun that it is her “great responsibility to normalize state affairs.”

“If the National Assembly recommends a new premier, I will appoint him and let him control the Cabinet,” Park was quoted as saying by local news agency Yonhap.

But questions remain over whether rival lawmakers will be able to agree on a candidate and how much power they would actually wield during the remainder of the present administration until February 2018.

Several contentious domestic policies could potentially come under further scrutiny, from a state-authored history textbook to an incoming American missile-defense battery -- although the relevant ministries insisted this week that both projects would go ahead.

Meanwhile, the country’s leadership scandal continues to develop.

Samsung Electronics’ Seoul offices were raided Tuesday morning over claims that the company illegally paid for the daughter of the president’s confidante Choi Soon-sil to pursue equestrian training worth millions of dollars.

Along with two other now former Park aides, Choi is currently under arrest for allegedly abusing her influence for personal gain and becoming involved in policymaking despite holding no official post.

Last Mod: 08 Kasım 2016, 09:35
Add Comment