South Korean President Park Geun-hye bows after addressing the nation over a political scandal involving her and her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye bows after addressing the nation over a political scandal involving her and her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil. YONHAP

South Korean president looks for a way out

SOUTH Korean President Park Geun-hye has asked parliament to find a way for her to give up power and decide when she should step down amid an influence-peddling scandal.

Park, 64, had apologised twice previously but until now resisted mounting public calls to quit, even as lawmakers readied to mount impeachment proceedings.

The main opposition Democratic Party claims the move is a ploy to escape being impeached.

Park Kwang-on, a Democratic Party lawmaker, said it looked like she was trying to delay proceedings.

"She is handing the ball to parliament, when she could simply step down,” he said.

"She is asking the parliament to pick a date for her to resign, which she knows would lead to a discussion on when to hold the presidential election and delay everything.”

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans rallied, calling for Park's resignation.

Prosecutors named Park as an accomplice in an investigation into whether big business was inappropriately pressured to contribute money to foundations set up to back Park's initiatives.

The presidential office and Park's lawyer have denied the accusations.



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