S. Koreans seek court's nod for President's impeachment, take to streets

| Updated: Dec 19, 2016 01:21 IST

Beijing [China], Dec 18 (ANI): Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans took to the streets demanding the constitutional court's nod for the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, which Parliament had already passed last week. Organisers, composed of about 1,500 civic groups, estimated that around 770,000 ordinary people participated in the eighth Saturday demonstration held in Seoul and other major cities across the country, reports Xinhua. In Seoul, some 650,000 protesters gathered in Gwanghwamun Square, just over a kilometer away from the presidential Blue House where Park's office and residence are located. In other major cities, about 120,000 turned out in candlelit vigils. Demonstrators called on the constitutional court to justify the impeachment as rapidly as possible given that uncertainties remain about when and whether to permanently remove Park from office. The court has up to 180 days to deliberate. The protesters also shouted for the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-han, who assumes temporary power until the court's final ruling is reached. Hwang, a close aide to President Park, served as justice minister before being appointed as the second-highest administrative post in 2015. Some of local media outlets criticized Hwang for his alleged abuse of presidential power though the unelected official serves as acting president. Hwang reportedly demanded excessive treatment, provided only for the chief executive, and exercise the right to let officials remain in office or appointed to a new position, a unique authority given to the president. (ANI)