Manila Bulletin

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.

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