SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye is expected to offer to relinquish some of her power when she addresses the nation on Tuesday but is not expected to announce her immediate resignation, Yonhap news agency quoted a presidential official as saying.
Park’s announcement comes as her administration tries to weather an influence-peddling scandal amid growing calls for her to step down.
Yonhap cited a presidential official as saying the address, at 2.30 p.m. (0530 GMT), will not be to announce her resignation.
“It looks like she will indicate a direction to let go (of some power) in the large scheme of things,” Yonhap quoted an unidentified official at the presidential Blue House as saying.
Park, whose presidency has been engulfed by the scandal involving a long-time friend, has apologised twice but resisted mounting public calls to quit.
Some lawmakers from Park’s own conservative Saenuri party have asked her to resign under an agreement that would allow her to leave office with some dignity, even as opposition parties have stepped up efforts to draw up a motion to impeach her.
A presidential official told Reuters by telephone that the statement would be about the political situation around the favours scandal but did not provide further details. Media reports said she was expected to express her opinion on suggestions that she resign in an orderly manner.
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans rallied for the fifth weekend in a row, calling for Park’s resignation. Organisers said the crowd totalled 1.5 million, while the police estimated the crowd at 260,000.
No South Korean president has failed to complete a term since the current democratic system was implemented in 1987. If Park is impeached or resigns, an election would be held in 60 days to nominate a president to serve a five-year term.