The Political Egyptian-Korean Swing of the Presidential Case
Sometimes, it feels like political news comes as an immediate response to the political situation of another country. One clear example is the same corruption found in many Egyptian governmental establishments that actually got the Korean President, Park Geun-hye, impeached by the Korean parliament.
Despite the chaos it is causing in Korea, many citizens of Egypt do not consider the President Park guilty. After all, under the same standards, most governmental officials in Egypt would have to be imprisoned. At the same time, it is also true that one cannot apply the same political rules to two nations with differing political systems: the democratic administration of Korea and the semi-military ruling system of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
Needless to say, the Korean scandal has aroused interest within Egypt as the Egyptian media has been keen on showing tens of thousands of South Koreans rushing into streets protesting that the President step down from office.
Official media often displays the fact that “no political system is totally honest” as a message to those seeking Utopia within their own countries. And yet, small, private media outlets tend to speak differently. Some point out that Egypt must follow Korea’s example of righting a democratic political system that has become corrupt. Others, on the other hand, say that Korea should not have allowed a daughter of a former President to become President herself. To that extent, Egypt was right in not appointing the son of the ex-president, Gamal Hosny Mubarak, as President.
Aside from this, the similarities of the corruption in Egypt and Korea have more similarities. Considering that the Muslim Brotherhood is a religious cult with political ambitions, it is noteworthy that they succeeded in making one of their members President of Egypt around 4 years ago. Soon after, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated against the President and his religious group and was finally able to have him imprisoned for crimes against the country. Likewise, Park Geun-hye of Korea was involved with Choi Soon-sil and the Choi family known to have ties to a religious cult. Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper added that Choi’s father, Choi Tae-min was a Rasputin-like-figure who wielded unhealthy influence over Park.
Interestingly enough, while Choi Soon-sil was formally arrested on the charges of fraud and abuse of power, Korean citizens were angered more because Choi had access to confidential documents and meddled in state affairs with no public authorization. Choi had, in many ways, been Korea’s de facto President behind Park’s national podium. Currently, Korea awaits Park’s pending trial for influence-peddling and illegal financial funding.
In an effort to regain the trust of her administration, Park has reshuffled ministers and senior advisors, bringing in figures from outside her ruling conservation Saenuri Party. Now, however, it does not seem to have made a difference. The final ruling on her impeachment will be decided March 13th.