UPDATE : 2018.11.19 MON 10:10
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Saenuri political doyens urge President Park to step downWhen she still has time to do so

Reports indicate that leading figures of the so-called pro-Park group of political doyens such as Reps. Suh Chung-won, Choi Kyung-hwan and Yoon Sang-hyun had an emergency meeting in Yeoeuido near the National Assembly in Seoul on Nov. 28, 2016, and decided to directly recommend to President Park Geun-hye to step down as the President of the Republic of Korea with honor.

Rep. Suh said that many of the doyens of the ruling Saenuri Party agreed that she should step down with honor.

Attending the meeting, among other leaders of the pro-Park faction of the Saenuri Party were Reps. Chung Kap-yun, Rhyu Ki-joon and Yoon Sang-hyun.

From left: President Park Geun-hye and Reps. Sup Chung-won and Choi Kyung-hwan.The leaders of the out-and-out pro-Park Geun-hye Faction of the ruling Saenuri Party urged President Park to step down to salve the worsening critical situation in Korea.

Speaking at the meeting, Rep. Suh suggested to the participants in the meeting, “I don’t see any other solution than for the President to step down because otherwise there was nothing else other than a Presidential impeachment at the National Assembly against President Park.

Rep. Suh was quoted by the Korean-language media as saying, “For the sake of her honor, I should say that President Park should make up her mind from her own free will and leave the post.”

Other participants in the meeting of the doyens of the ruling camp were quoted by the Korean-language media as saying, “We should recommend to her to resign with honor for the sake of the country as well as for her own benefit.”

Other participants in the meeting were quoted by the Korean media as saying, “There would be a period of power vacuum and confusion in the Korean political arena if there should be impeachment against President Park because there would be a time gap between the decision of impeachment and the final decision of the Constitutional Court on the matter.” He said, “Withdrawal from Presidency maintaining order and prestige would be much better than a possible impeachment against herself.”

From left: Reps. Yoon Sang-hyun, Jung Kab-yoon and Yoo Ki-june.

Earlier on Nov. 27, a total of over 20 former prime ministers, National Assembly speakers and other top leaders of the Korea had an emergency meeting at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, 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.”

The Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae

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.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koreapost.com

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