South Korean president Park Geun-Hye faces IMPEACHMENT vote following corruption scandal

South Korean president Park Geun-Hye faces IMPEACHMENT vote following corruption scandal

The South Korean parliament will vote on whether to impeach Park Geun-Hye – who stands accused of colluding with a close friend arrested on embezzlement charges – next week.

Although opposition parties command the most seats in the country’s legislature, 30 members of Park’s Saenuri Party will need to support the motion in order to impeach the disgraced president.

The leader of the country’s opposing Democratic Party, Woo Sang-Ho, warned a failed motion would see responsibility for the leader’s actions fall to her party.

He said: “If the impeachment motion fails to get passed because of the lack of cooperation from the ruling party, it must take responsibility for all consequences.”

Park is believed to have colluded with close aide Choi Soon-sil, who has been arrested for meddling in government affairs, to pressure conglomerates into giving money to foundations set up to promote her policy initiatives.

Desperate to salvage her plummeting political career, Park last week offered to resign and allow South Korean authorities to conduct an official investigation.

But the 64-year-old was denied by opposition parties, who chastised her for attempting to bide time and avoid impeachment.

If passed, the motion would be handed to the Constitutional Court for approval – a process which could take six months.

In a blunt ultimatum, Park’s party called on its leader to stand down voluntarily in April for a June presidential election – or face impeachment.

Park has been named as a formal suspect in the investigation centred around accusations she assisted long-time friend, Choi Soon-Sil, coerce firms to “donate” tens of millions of dollars to two dubious foundations.

Park can only face charges of treason or insurrection while she retains the presidency – but would lose all immunity on stepping down.

She is the only sitting South Korean president ever to face a criminal probe.

Millions of outraged South Koreans have taken to the country’s cities over the past month in protest of the alleged corruption.

Last Saturday, 1.5 million people defied freezing temperatures in Seoul to demand the shamed president’s resignation.

Published at Sat, 03 Dec 2016 06:01:00 +0000