South Korea's President Park faces historic impeachment vote

By REUTERS
December 8, 2016 23:07

SEOUL  - South Korean President Park Geun-hye, engulfed in an influence-peddling scandal, faces a historic impeachment vote in parliament on Friday that could see her become the country's first democratically elected leader to be ousted from office.

Parliament is expected to vote in favor of impeachment, with support from some members of Park's conservative Saenuri Party, but the Constitutional Court must decide whether to uphold the motion, a process that could take up to 180 days.

Park is accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide, both of whom have been indicted by prosecutors, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

She has denied wrongdoing but apologized for carelessness in her ties with the friend, Choi Soon-sil.

The 64-year-old president said this week she would await the court's ruling, signalling that the six-weeks-long political crisis marked by huge Saturday rallies calling for Park's ouster is set to continue.

Parliament introduced the impeachment bill on Thursday and it must be voted on within 24 to 72 hours. The speaker, Chung Sye-kyun, asked for a vote on Friday.


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