S.Korea braces for impeachment unrest

Religious leaders and politicians call for calm on eve of Constitutional Court’s decision on whether to oust President Park

S.Korea braces for impeachment unrest

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean religious leaders and lawmakers made appeals Thursday for the country to avoid the “catastrophe” of unrest that could follow Friday’s impeachment verdict by the Constitutional Court.

Millions of people have taken part in street rallies demanding President Park Geun-hye’s resignation since last October when she was caught up in a major corruption scandal.

Following a Dec. 9 parliamentary vote to impeach her, Park has been suspended but conservative supporters have led increasingly prominent counter-protests.

While both sides have remained largely peaceful so far, there are growing concerns about the impact of the court’s decision, which will be broadcast live from 11 a.m. (0200GMT) Friday.

“The Constitutional Court ruling cannot satisfy everyone. Extreme conflict, strife and disobedience of the stern ruling will only lead to catastrophe," read a statement from Archbishop Kim Hee-joong of the Catholic Church in South Korea.

Local news agency Yonhap reported that the nation’s Buddhist circle would issue a further comment calling for the country to stand together.

South Korean politics has also been stirred with the possibility of a snap election called within 60 days if Park is ousted.

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) urged Park to declare that she will accept whatever outcome for the sake of national unity, reflecting political opinion outside of the conservative ruling camp.

DP floor leader Woo Sang-ho said, according to Yonhap, that the party is “concerned about the aftermath rather than the trial itself”.

“The biggest problem is that the far-right faction, including Park, is already provoking a mass protest,” Woo added.

Park has declined to appear at any of her trial hearings and has so far resisted being interrogated over wide-ranging allegations of power abuse that have led to 30 other suspects being indicted, including Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Mart 2017, 10:02