Saenuri heavyweights turn on Park

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161107000743

 

President Park Geun-hye’s political predicament worsened Monday, with a former leader of her own ruling party demanding she leave the party.

Kim Moo-sung, a former Saenuri leader, held an emergency conference at the National Assembly and criticized Park for the scandal that involved her allowing her confidante Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs and siphon public funds.

“The president is supposed to protect the Constitution, yet she ran the government in a way that violated it. … Her powers as the president, bestowed upon her by the people, was used in order to let the Choi family meddle in state affairs and pursue unlawful gains,” he said. “As Saenuri’s No.1 member, the president must leave the party in order to save it.”

 

Kim stressed that Park leaving the party will allow Saenuri to gain back some of the trust it lost in light of the scandal, adding that the party can even oust the president if she refuses to leave.

He urged Park to accept the opposition’s request for the launch of a neutral Cabinet, while withdrawing her nomination of Kim Byong-joon as the new prime minister and asking the parliament to recommend the new premier.

The opposition and some within the ruling party had decried Park’s pick of Kim and demanded that she let the National Assembly appoint the nation’s new second-in-command, who will take on a much more prominent role.

Kim, a bigwig of the nonmainstream faction within the ruling party, has butted heads with the president on several occasions while he was the party leader, particularly during the nomination process of the general election earlier in the year.