Prez Park's exit certain
Korean national assembly to vote on impeachment motion on Friday
Supporters of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye wave the national flag during a rally against her impeachment, outside the ruling Saenuri Party in Seoul on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Seoul: The impeachment of South Korea president Park Geun-Hye looked certain yesterday as dissident lawmakers in her ruling party said they would support an opposition motion calling for her ouster.
The national assembly is slated to vote on the impeachment motion on Friday, with the backing of 30-odd Saenuri Party MPs needed to reach the required two-thirds majority.
The ruling party had insisted that Park be allowed to step down voluntarily, and had proposed a timeline that would see her resign in April — 10 months short of her full presidential term. But a series of massive anti-Park protests — the latest of which saw 1.6 million take to the streets of Seoul on Saturday — appeared to have swayed the mood of the party's anti-Park faction.
"We've concluded that the card of the president leaving her office in April has already been rejected by the people," said a member of the faction, lawmaker Hwang Young-Cheul. "All preparations have been made that are must to ensure the impeachment motion be passed." If adopted, the motion would still require approval by the Constitutional Court, a process that could take up to six months.
Park digs in, as tycoons deny seeking favours
Park Geun-Hye said if she was impeached, she would wait for a court to uphold the decision, a party official said yesterday, a sign the political crisis could drag on for months. Separately, South Korea's most prominent corporate chiefs told a parliamentary panel they had not sought favours when they made contributions to two foundations at the heart of the scandal, even as one acknowledged it was hard to say no to the government.
(L) SK Group chairman Chey Tae-Won, Samsung vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, and Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-Bin. Pic/AP/PTI
UN chief Ban the loser in scandal?
A big casualty of the scandal may be the presidential aspirations of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Though he has not declared his candidacy, until a month ago he was the front-runner in opinion polls to win the election scheduled for December 20, a race he was expected to contest from Park’s conservative Saenuri Party.
No. of Saenuri Party MPs expected to support the motion against Park
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