South Korea has a new President. The former Prime Minister Mr Choi Kyu-Hah was the?
South Korea has a new President. The former Prime Minister Mr Choi Kyu-Hah was the only candidate for the post. He was formally elected by the Electoral College which met in Seoul on Thursday (6 December).
The former head of the KCIA Kim Jae Kyu, and President Park's Secretary-General Kim Jong Wong, went on trial today in Seoul together with a number of lower-ranked KCIA agents for the alleged assassination of the President. The trial is being carried out in the form of a court-martial under Korea's current martial law regulations.
SYNOPSIS: Former Prime Minister Choi Kyu-Hah addressed the electoral college, although he was unopposed. Mr Choi, aged sixty, a former career diplomat, was the last Prime Minister under President Park Chung-Hee. He became acting President after Mr Park was shot dead by the Director of the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency at a private dinner.
Mr Choi needed to gain more than fifty percent of the electoral college votes in order to become President.
The election was conducted under the constitution, adopted under President Park, which provides for indirect election of the president, and gives him sweeping powers. Mr Choi has promised to amend it. He says the ballot boxes for presidential elections should be available to all.
Mr Choi's nomination was approved by 2,465 of the 2,549 delegates to the National Conference for Unification, the electoral college empowered to elect the head of state. Mr Choi's proposals for amending the constitution include a popular ballot for presidential elections, and he was therefore not expected to remain in office for much more than a year before calling elections.
The new President said after his election that he would promote freedom and seek a peaceful unification of North and South Korea. He says the country needs gradual changes so that political development matches economic progress.