Asia & Australia

November 18, 2016

Investigation Of President Park Geun-hye Approved By South Korea Parliament


geun-hye

The Parliament of South Korea approved a measure to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Park Geun-hye for allegedly allowing individuals to influence state affairs.

It is alleged that Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, was permitted to edit confidential speeches and receive funds even though she is not a political official. Choi Soon-sil is also under investigation for embezzling millions of dollars from non-profit organizations for personal uses. The bill was introduced by the members of the opposing political party, and the president has the power to reject the measure within 15 days, although experts believe that this is unlikely. The nation's constitution protects the president from most instances of criminal prosecution, but investigations are still permitted. Thousands of South Koreans have called for the president's resignation since last month.

The investigation into the president is the latest controversy affecting South Korean government officials. In October, Park proposed to amend the country's constitutional provision that limits presidents to one term in office. Currently, South Korean presidents can only have a single five-year term, and Park finishes her term in office in February 2018. The Korea Fair Trade Commission, South Korea's antitrust regulator, confirmed in August that the country is investigating whether Google violated the country's antitrust laws. In Kyung-joon, a senior prosecutor in South Korea was indicted for bribery in July by accepting more than USD $11 million from an executive at Nexon, an online-game company, during collusive stock transactions over a nine-year period.

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