South Korean President Park Geun-Hye has thrown a challenge to her opponents in an address to the nation on Tuesday. Park proposed to step down from her position but placed conditions on Parliament to ensure her “honorable” exit from the Blue House.
The announcement comes at the backdrop of impeachment that Park is likely to face for her links to Choi Soon-Sil. Meanwhile, Park’s opponents labeled the address as a lame trick to sway investigators and escape impeachment.
The Disgraced President: Early exit is the easiest way out
The address on Tuesday ended weeks of speculation around President Park Geun-Hye’s conspicuous absence from the public life. It is seen by her detractors as a face-saver attempt. In her desperate attempt to appease the Members of the Parliament (MPs) and the opposition President Park offered to resign and end the most scandalous episode in Seoul ever. Her presidential term ends in early 2018. Given the current turbulence in the political circle in Seoul, it is highly unlikely that Park would manage to continue.
What the opposition feels about Park Geun-Hye’s offer to resign?
Opposition lawmakers have rejected Park Geun-Hye’s resignation offer on a straightforward note. According to one of the lawmakers in the opposition, Park is trying to avoid impeachment by “throwing the ball into Parliament’s court.” In the past, Park has publicly addressed the nation and apologized to the nation for her connections with the defaced confidante Choi, who has since been jailed for fraud and extortion.
What happens next?
Considering the fact that three opposition parties have collectively demanded for Park’s impeachment, acceptance of her resignation is highly unlikely. Over 300,000 South Korean protestors took to the streets demanding Park’s resignation and immediate arrest during the weekend. If Park fails to complete her full 5-year presidential term, she will become the first Head of the State to do so since 1987.
Impeachment can’t be ruled out as yet. 172 MPs have approved the decision to impeach Park. Park’s fate will be sealed if 30 members of the ruling Saenuri Party break ranks. This will be the second time in 12 years that a South Korean will be impeached. In 2004, President Roh Moo-hyun was suspended but his impeachment was later wiped out following his death in 2009.
The political vacuum in South Korea might just boost Kim’s political ambition to gain popularity in the country. With no President to guide the country out of the current policy crisis, will Kim Jong-Un incite a civil war in South Korea?
Photo Courtesy: Chuck Hagel/ Wikimedia Commons