Senior presidential secretaries tendered resignations en masse to Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn Monday, a day after former President Park Geun-hye left the presidential office following her dismissal over a corruption scandal.
The secretaries, including Presidential Chief of Staff Han Gwang-ok, have been weighing the option apparently to take responsibility for their failure to properly assist Park.
Park returned to her private residence in southern Seoul two days after the Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment over the scandal that triggered a leadership crisis and left the nation sharply divided.
It remains uncertain whether Hwang will accept their resignations given that he needs their assistance in handling a series of economic and diplomatic challenges and ensuring the smooth transition of government.
“After the resignations are tendered, (Hwang) could selectively accept some of them,” a government official said, requesting anonymity. “For the stable management of state affairs, (Hwang) could also consider turning all of them down.”
With Park’s ouster, the nation is set to hold a presidential by-election in early May. Currently, Moon Jae-in, a former leader of the progressive main opposition Democratic Party, maintains a solid lead in opinion polls.
The acting president has been mentioned as a likely candidate to bear the flag of the conservative camp, but he has remained noncommittal. To run for the presidency, Hwang must resign a month before the election. (Yonhap)