After impeachment of South Korean president, anti-Park rallies resume

South Korean protesters mount a massive candlelight rally after the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye over an influence-peddling scandal and urge the constitutional court to approve the impeachment.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (DECEMBER 10, 2016) (REUTERS) – Protesters demanding that South Korean President Park Geun-hye resign resumed their demonstrations with a massive candlelight rally on Saturday (December 10), a day after parliament voted overwhelmingly to impeach her and put the fate of her presidency in the hands of a nine-judge court.

Protesters earlier marched toward the presidential office demanding Park’s immediate resignation.

The crowd, estimated by organisers at 800,000, was significantly smaller than in recent weeks but festive, with performances of music between speeches calling for the early removal of Park.

“I came here with my family to demand President Park Geun-hye’s resignation over her wrongdoing. If this is carried over into history books and I can study it myself, I will feel very proud,” 11-year-old attendee Kim Su-youn said.

Many of the protesters demanded the constitutional court approve the impeachment passed by the parliament.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who became acting president late on Friday (December 9) after the impeachment vote, called on authorities to ensure that rallies are peaceful and sought to calm anxiety over national security and to reassure financial markets

The impeachment, which has to be reviewed and approved by the Constitutional Court within 180 days to remove Park from office, sets the stage for her to become the country’s first elected leader to be ousted in disgrace.

Park, 64, the daughter of a former military ruler, is accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide, both of whom prosecutors have indicted, to pressure big businesses to donate to foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

Park, who is serving a single five-year term ending in February 2018, has denied wrongdoing but apologised for carelessness in her ties with her friend, Choi Soon-sil.