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S Korean President Withdraws Prime Minister Nomination Amid Opposition Pressure

Sputnik News

08:50 08.11.2016(updated 08:59 08.11.2016)

South Korean President Park Geun-hye withdrew Kim Byong-joon's nomination for the prime ministerial post after caving in to opposition pressure amid a political scandal, local media reported on Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Kim's candidacy was proposed by the president on Wednesday as part of a cabinet reshuffle caused by a scandal over Park's ties to "shadow adviser" Choi Soon-sil, who is suspected of meddling in state affairs. The reshuffle was rejected by opposition parties over a lack of consultations.

"I came to meet the speaker as it is (my) great responsibility to normalize state affairs… If the National Assembly recommends a new premier, I will appoint him and let him control the Cabinet," Park said during a meeting with National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

The president plans to meet parliamentary leaders of the three major parties in order to discuss the nomination later in the day, according to the media outlet. On Friday, the opposition agreed to hold consultations only in case Kim's nomination was withdrawn.

On October 24, the JTBC television network reported that "shadow adviser" Choi allegedly received drafts of Park's speeches before they were publicly delivered, though she had never held a public post. The following day, Park officially admitted asking Choi for advice on speeches and public relations issues, and apologized for "causing public concern."

The revelation has caused a massive anti-government protest in the country, with people calling on the president to step down. An arrest warrant has been issued for Choi, while the president expressed her willingness to testify in the case.


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