South Korea’s President Park must step down for democratic solutions to deepening constitutional crisis
November 14, 2016, Seoul, Korea – The Asia Democracy Network (ADN) joins the people of South Korea calling for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye to take responsibility for her abuse of constitutional power, compromising democratic values and principles.
Over one million people from all walks of life stormed Seoul’s streets peacefully on Saturday on 12 Nov., demanding her immediate resignation. It was the largest demonstration in the modern history of South Korea. Mass demonstrations are scheduled for every Saturday
From the investigations conducted thus far by the prosecutor office, it seems to be clear that President Park is politically and legally responsible for the crimes and violations of the constitution committed by her aids and personal friends in which she may have to face criminal charges according to the law.
We believe that her immediate resignation is for the best interest of the people and the country as she is the main obstacle to democratic solutions to the deepening constitutional crisis in South Korea. She has failed and cannot perform her presidency any longer as she completely lost her moral and political authority.
We stress that an independent and transparent investigation on her involvement into the crimes and violations of the constitution need to be conducted to prove that no one is above the law.
South Korea was once known as a good example of hard-won democracy, but it is a shame that South Korea betrayed our expectation and trust due to the unprecedented political scandals and corruptions of Park’s current government.
South Korea as a member of the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies has a responsibility to respect and uphold core democratic principles and practices illustrated in the Warsaw Declaration adopted in 2000. It is to note that elected leaders are to uphold the law and function strictly in accordance with the constitution of the country concerned and procedures established by law and the government institutions be transparent, participatory, and fully accountable to the citizenry of the country taking steps to combat corruption that corrodes democracy.
South Korea as the Chair of the United Nations Human Rights Council as well as a signatory to the international human rights treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) should also set a good example by fully implementing state obligations, resolutions, and recommendations of the relevant special procedures especially on the freedom of assembly and association and the freedom of expression.
As a network of democracy advocates in Asia, ADN urges the people of South Korea and the various institutions of society such as the national assembly, political parties and civil society organizations to join forces to find practical solutions restoring democracy in a democratic and peaceful manner in line with international democracy and human rights standards.
Asia Democracy Network
ADN Steering Committee:
- Asia Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
- Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
- Asia Development Alliance (ADA)
- Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Asia
- Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
- International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID)
- Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA)/ Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN)
- People’s SAARC
- Southeast Asia Committee for Advocacy (SEACA)
For inquiry, please contact:
Soo Yon Suh, Coordinator, ADN Secretariat
ADN Statement on South Korea Democracy Crisis (18 Nov.) (PDF Download Here)