S. Korea opposition to file impeachment motion
SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea’s three opposition parties said they would file an impeachment motion Friday against beleaguered President Park Geun-Hye, and push for a national assembly vote next week.
Accused of colluding with a close friend who faces embezzlement charges, Park said last week she would be willing to step down in the face of weekly mass protests that have seen millions take to the streets of Seoul and other cities.
The opposition said Park’s offer, which put the manner and timing of her resignation in the hands of parliament, was an effort to buy time and avoid impeachment.
The joint opposition commands the most seats in the legislature, but would need the support of nearly 30 members of Park’s Saenuri Party to secure the two-thirds majority needed to impeach the president.
“We’ve agreed to actively persuade anti-Park (Saenuri) lawmakers to back us,’’ said Park Jie-Won, parliamentary floor leader of the opposition People’s Party.
If passed, the motion would go to the Constitutional Court for approval – a process that could take up to six months.
The Saenuri Party has called on Park to stand down voluntarily in April next year, allowing a presidential election to be held in June – six months ahead of schedule.
Party officials have given her a week to accept the timeline or face impeachment.