Impeachment vote against Park delayed

By Reuter Source:Reuters Published: 2016/11/30 23:18:41

An impeachment vote against South Korea's scandal-hit president will be postponed by at least a week, lawmakers said Wednesday, after Park Geun-hye announced she was willing to stand down early.

South Korean opposition parties vowed on Wednesday to push ahead to try to impeach Park, rejecting her offer to resign, and called on members of her Saenuri Party to join them.

Lawmakers from Park's Party had backed moves to impeach her this Friday, but now want the issue discussed in parliament before holding a vote, likely to be scheduled a week later.

In a dramatic move that shifted the burden of resolving the crisis engulfing her presidency, Park asked parliament on Tuesday to decide how and when she should quit, which opposition lawmakers dismissed as a ploy to buy time and avoid impeachment.

The leaders of the three opposition parties, which together hold 165 of the single-chamber parliament's 300 seats and can initiate an impeachment motion, said they would not negotiate with Park's party on her proposal to step down.

"The only way left to go is impeachment under the constitution," the head of the Democratic Party, Choo Mi-ae, said at a meeting with the leaders of two other opposition parties.

The leader of the opposition People's Party, Park Jie-won, said a motion would be put to a vote on Friday, or in the following week if necessary.

"Impeachment is the only way," he said.

Park is alleged by prosecutors to have colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to enable her to wield improper influence in government affairs and in fundraising by two foundations set up to back Park's initiatives.


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