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Park Geun-hye Impeachment Celebrated on Seoul Streets

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Tens of thousands of South Koreans have marched in Seoul to celebrate the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye and demanding her full removal.

Park Geun-hye is suspended while the top court considers whether to uphold December 9 parliamentary vote to impeach her.

She is accused of allowing a close friend to profit from her connections with the presidency.

According to correspondents, the gathering, estimated at 200,000 by organizers, was smaller than in recent weeks.

Meanwhile PM Hwang Kyo-ahn, who became acting president after yesterday’s vote, sought to calm concerns over national security and to reassure markets

He said on December 10: “So far, financial and foreign exchange markets have been relatively stable and there are no signs of unusual movements by the North [Koreans], but all public servants should bear vigilance in mind.”

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

The motion to impeach Park Geun-hye passed by 234 votes to 56, meaning many members of her Saenuri party voted in favor.

Park Geun-hye’s supporters held a Seoul rally that drew an estimated 15,000 people on December 10. Waving national flags, they carried banners that read: “President Park, Don’t Cry” and “Nullify impeachment”.

At the heart of the case is Park Geun-hye’s relationship with long-time friend Choi Soon-sil, who faces charges of coercion and abuse of power.

It is alleged that after Park Geun-hye became president in 2013, Choi Soon-sil, 60, used their friendship to pressure powerful corporations into donating to foundations she controlled and then siphoned off funds for her personal use.

Prosecutors say Park  Geun-hye had a “considerable” role in the alleged corruption, which she has denied.

The Constitutional Court has 180 days to make a final ruling.

If at least six of the court’s nine judges rule against Park Geun-hye, she will become the first sitting South Korean president to be deposed in the country’s democratic era and a new presidential election will be held within 60 days.

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