February 22, 2013 12:59
President-elect Park Geun-hye will officially start her term at midnight Monday. According to the election law, the incoming president's term starts on midnight of the day following the termination of the predecessor's term.
Since the inauguration ceremony takes place late Monday morning, this creates in theory a slight gap when Korea is without a president.
Outgoing President Lee Myung-bak plans to have lunch with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Sunday and plans to leave Cheong Wa Dae at around 4 p.m. and move to his private home in southern Seoul.
In order to ensure a smooth transition, Cheong Wa Dae staff have set up a communication system at Lee's private home so he can deal with any emergency government business arising until Park enters the presidential compound.
A hotline has also been set up in Park's private home in southern Seoul that will remain active until her term officially starts.
Officials who are preparing Park's inauguration ceremony plan to have 18 representatives from the public ring a bell 33 times at midnight on Monday at the Boshingak Pavillion in downtown Seoul marking the beginning of her term as the 18th president of Korea.
Meanwhile, 10.88 million documents from the Lee administration have been handed over the Presidential Archives. "On three separate occasions since December, 10.43 million electronics documents and 450,000 other documents have been transferred," said a staffer at the archives.
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