A total of over 20 former prime ministers, National Assembly speakers and other top leaders of the Republic of Korea had an emergency meeting at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Nov. 27, 2016, and urged President Park Geun-hye to step down as President within the next four months.
Then they urged the National Assembly to form a supra-partisan cabinet led by a prime minister and expedite the passage of a Constitutional revision to change the present monarchic Presidential system to a cabinet system.
Attending the emergency meeting of the nation’s elders called by former opposition party Speaker Park Kwang-yong of the National Assembly were former National Assembly Speakers Kim Su-hwan, Kim Hyung-oh, Chung Ui-hwa and Kang Chang-hee; former Prime Minister Lee Hong-koo; former leading National Assemblymen Kwon No-gap, Chung Dae-chul, Shin Kyung-shik and Shin Young-kyun; and other noted society leaders such as Christian Minister Choi Sung-kyu and Buddhist Priest Song Wol.
Shortly after the meeting, former Assembly Speaker Chung was asked if he had agreed to the National Assembly’s move to impeach the President, whereupon Chung said, “I would say that the President should leave her post ‘in order and peace’ sometime in April next year and this was what was agreed upon among all the participants at the meeting. Then he added, “The participants recommended March or April next year for the President to leave her post.”
Chung said, “I would say that a supra-partisan national cabinet should be formed so that the President could step down handing over the control of the government to the new cabinet.”
Then he said, “If this should fail, I would say that the only means left would have to be impeaching the President.”
The emergency meeting of the national elders was held behind closed doors for three hours where they agreed to deliver their decision to President Park Geun-hye, including the possibilities of Presidential impeachment and handing over the on-going investigation of the graft cases to Special Prosecutors (not appointed by the President but on the recommendation of the supra-partisan political leaders).
The following is the gist of resolutions adopted at the national elders’ meeting:
1. We declare that the President should step down by April 2017 at the latest in order to solve the present critical situation of the nation.
2. The National Assembly should nominate a prime minister as soon as possible and assign the new prime minister with the responsibility of forming a pan-national supra-partisan neutral cabinet. Then the President should hand over the entire control of the government to the new prime minister.
3. The current critical political situation is entirely due to the present monarchic system of government and therefore this system must be changed through Constitutional revision.
4. Some participates in the meeting recommended impeachment of President Park Geun-hye while others chose another measure that met the provisions of the Constitutional Law. However, the majority of the participants commended that the President declare a specific date of her resignation so that she could leave the office with honor and in peace and that appropriate political means should be sought to make this happen.