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Park loyalists to ask president to step down

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Published : 2016-11-28 19:44
Updated : 2016-11-28 19:44

Leading members of the ruling Saenuri Party known to be loyal to President Park Geun-hye decided Monday to ask the president to bow out over the nepotism scandal tied to her long-time friend Choi Soon-sil.

In a closed-door meeting, Rep. Suh Chung-won -- a core member of the pro-Park faction inside Saenuri – and others agreed that they should recommend the president leave her office “for the sake of the country and herself.”

“I don’t think there is any choice left for Park,” Suh was quoted as saying by the attendants. “If things would play out in this way, the president would be impeached. In order to preserve her reputation, Park should decide on her course of action now.”

The eight-term lawmaker Suh, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said that the attending lawmakers “have found common ground” on the issue. Former Finance Minister Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan, another core member of pro-Park faction, is said to have been in attendance. 
Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan (right) and Rep. Suh Chung-won

The move came a day after retired political and religious leaders across the political spectrum urged the president to step down no later than April next year. Most of them were former speakers of the National Assembly, including Chung Ui-hwa.

Park’s loyalists inside the Saenuri Party have remained steadfastly behind the embattled president, despite her approval ratings plummeting to 4 percent and a dip in support within the ruling party.

Opposition lawmakers are pushing for the impeachment of Park.

By Yeo Jun-suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)