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Pro- and anti- Park rallies staged in Seoul

Supporters of South Korean President Park Guen-hye have rallied to call for her reinstatement.Opponents have gathered to repeat their demands that the leader, impeached over a corruption scandal, shou

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Pro- and anti- Park rallies staged in Seoul

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Supporters of South Korean President Park Guen-hye have rallied to call for her reinstatement.

Opponents have gathered to repeat their demands that the leader, impeached over a corruption scandal, should step down immediately.



Supporters rally



The Park supporters, who last held a major rally in mid-November, began their demonstration first.

They have been in the minority during the weeks of protests demanding her removal. There have been huge rallies over seven straight weekends, packing the streets of Seoul.

Saturday’s pro-Park rally near the court and a few blocks from the presidential Blue House, drew largely older people who said those behind the movement to oust her are misguided.




Anti-Park rally



Many of her opponents are angry that Park’s lawyers argued on Friday that the impeachment has no legal basis.



What the lawyers say



Park’s lawyers struck a defiant note in their first comments since the impeachment vote.

They said the motion should be overturned by the Constitutional Court, which has 180 days to review it.

The lawyers’ submission to the court rejected all the points made in the impeachment motion approved by a wide margin by parliament on December the 9th.

It accused her of violating her constitutional duty and breaking the law.



The background



Park’s presidential powers have been suspended since the vote for impeachment on December the 9th.

The Constitutional Court must decide whether or not to uphold the motion.

The 64-year-old is accused of colluding with long-time friend Choi Soon-sil to pressure big businesses to make contributions to non-profit foundations backing presidential initiatives.

Soon has been indicted and is in custody.

Park has indicated she will not step down.

She has denied wrongdoing but has apologised for “carelessness” in her ties with Choi.

If the impeachment is upheld, or Park steps down voluntarily, a new election has to be held within 60 days to pick a new leader who will serve a single, five-year term.

Park’s term was originally due to end in February 2018.




What they are saying



“This is my first time out here, but yesterday when I heard about her opinion against the impeachment, submitted to the Constitutional Court, whatever pity I felt for her disappeared,” – 55-year-old protester Roh Yi-young.


“The people who love this country have come out to save the country despite the hardship,” – 69-year-old protester Kim Ku-ja


“We are blaming the decision of impeachment on teh media, which mislead the people with false information. The grounds for impeachment are also based on the information by misled media, so we are against the impeachment. We are offering roses to keep peace in this country,” – 61-year-old protester, Kim U-ghi.