Ousted president remains irresponsible till the end

Hundreds of people supporting Park Geun-hye wave the Taegeukgi, the national flag, as the former President’s car arrives at her private residence in southern Seoul, Sunday. / Yonhap

By Jun Ji-hye

Former President Park Geun-hye left Cheong Wa Dae, Sunday, two days after the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment ― at last.

It was such a long and tiring battle for hundreds of thousands of people who have gathered in Gwanghwamun Square, central Seoul, every Saturday, to call for her to quit.

But Park’s behavior so far in the national crisis caused by her own corruption scandal has just shown how irresponsible a leader she was.

After a two-day silence, she indicated that she would not accept the court ruling, like her hard-line supporters who have been staging violent protests against the decision.

In a statement read by her former spokesman, Rep. Min Kyung-wook of the Liberty Korea Party, she said, “Although it may take time, I believe the truth will eventually be revealed.”

While in office for around four years, what she stressed was that the most important things should be handled in accordance with principles and rules. She said so whenever mentioning anti-government protesters.

But now it is her who is not following principles and rules, although she must know that a ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and unchallengeable.

Indeed, she has shown an irresponsible attitude from the beginning.

When corruption allegations began to emerge last September, what she did was just deny them and try to turn the people’s attention away from the allegations by surprisingly suggesting a constitutional revision during her Oct. 24 National Assembly address.

Park began to acknowledge some of the allegations only after Cable TV network JTBC unveiled a tablet PC, presumed to be used by Park’s long time friend Choi Soon-sil, a central figure in the scandal.

After that, she delivered three addresses to the nation during which she vowed to sincerely cooperate in investigations by state prosecutors and an independent counsel.

But she never complied with any requests for face-to-face questioning. She also refused the independent counsel’s request for a search of Cheong Wa Dae.

Acting court President Lee Jung-mi, who delivered the court verdict, pointed out that this behavior showed Park never had willingness to protect the Constitution, citing it as one of the main reasons for the decision to oust her.

Amid mounting confusion among her supporters after the ruling, Park just kept silent.

She did not express any official position or her condolences although three of her supporters died during protests against the ruling.

If Park had had any sense of responsibility as a head of state and felt appreciation toward her supporters, she should have told them that it was time to accept the court ruling and asked them to stop holding violent protests.

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