Two opposition political parties in South Korea are beginning to set in motion an effort to impeach President Park Geun-hye amid a deepening corruption scandal that has upended her presidency. Meanwhile, for the fourth weekend in a row, hundreds of thousands of protesters packed the streets of Seoul calling for her resignation, some of them carrying signs that read, “Not Our President.” The protests are the biggest the nation has seen since the 1980s.
Last week, the scandal took a farcical turn when Park was accused of using the name of character from a popular TV show as an alias while visiting an upscale beauty and anti-aging clinic in Seoul, and allegations emerged that a staff doctor had fabricated drug prescriptions for Park’s close friend, Choi Soon-sil, who is at the center of the abuse of power case engulfing Park. The People’s Party said it was beginning a petition to collect signatures calling for Park’s impeachment while the Democratic Party said Monday that it was looking at the legal mechanics necessary to launch a formal impeachment process. Some observers think a formal impeachment campaign has yet to be launched because if the motion fails, Park could actually emerge from the scandal politically stronger. Experts have said that an impeachment motion would likely be successful.
Park has apologized multiple times for her carelessness, but has maintained that her actions always had the country’s best interests at heart. Park, who took office in 2013 and became the nation’s first woman president, has declined to step down. Her term ends in 2018.
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