S. Korea President Faces Impeachment Vote

S. Korea President Faces Impeachment VoteS. Korea President Faces Impeachment Vote

South Korea’s three opposition parties will vote next week to impeach beleaguered President Park Geun-hye, they said on Friday. The parties, who together control 165 seats in the 300-member parliament, would need the support of 30 members of Park’s Saenuri Party to reach the two-thirds majority required to impeach the president.

Hundreds of thousands of Koreans protested for five consecutive weekends, asking for Park to step down or face impeachment. Criminal investigators accused her of aiding the criminal activities of her secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, AFP reported.

Choi, the daughter of a deceased cult leader who mentored Park, used their close connection to coerce major Korean conglomerates to donate tens of millions of dollars to foundations she set up for personal gain and that promoted Park’s policy initiatives.

Park denied wrongdoing but offered to resign on Tuesday, asking parliament to dictate the terms of her departure, but opposition parties viewed it as a cynical ploy to delay impeachment.

“The three opposition parties will pursue the impeachment through close cooperation and without wavering,” a spokesman for the main opposition Democratic Party, Ki Dong-min, said.

If the opposition parties manage to sway 30 ruling party members to vote against their leader, the Constitutional Court would have 180 days to approve or reject it. If approved, an election must be called in 60 days to elect a new leader for a full five-year term. But some opposition members fear a failed impeachment vote would vindicate Park’s protests of innocence.

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