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Rival Protests in Seoul Over Impeachment

Protesters hold signs reading “Impeachment” in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 25.Protesters hold signs reading “Impeachment” in Seoul, South Korea, on Feb. 25.

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have held rival protests in Seoul over the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on the fourth anniversary of her swearing into office.

About 17,000 riot police were mobilized on Saturday, setting up barricades with their buses at the center of the capital to separate Park’s supporters from those opposing her, Aljazeera reported.

Anti-Park protesters, carrying yellow balloons and waving banners, marched in three directions.

One column proceeded towards the presidential Blue House as another group headed to the Constitutional Court, which has to decide whether to endorse or reject Park’s impeachment.

Park has seen her approval ratings fall from 67% to 5%, as the country has been rocked by the scandal.

The Constitutional Court will on Monday hold its final hearing on Park’s impeachment. The verdict is expected to be handed down before March 13.

If the court upholds the impeachment, Park will be removed from her post immediately and a presidential election must be held within 60 days.

Not too far from the anti-Park protest, the president’s supporters, mostly senior citizens, waved national flags and chanted slogans urging the court to nullify the impeachment. Otherwise it would face a “bloody” civil resistance, they said.

Anti-Park protest organizers claimed a one million turnout and pro-Park supporters said they had attracted three million.

Police stopped issuing their own estimates and an AFP journalist on the scene put both numbers around 100,000 each or less.

 

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