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Published: Thu, December 01, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Anti-Park protesters march in Seoul for 5th straight week


"Another big rally wouldn't necessarily lead to Park's resignation, but will at least provide the motivation for politicians to negotiate harder for a deal to oust her", said Kim Yun-cheol, who teaches political science at the Humanitas College of Kyung Hee University in Seoul.

Q: What is Park accused of?

Choi Soon Sil, head of The Church of Eternal Life, was also found to have governmental documents on her tablet device and was accused of meddling in state affairs.

Buddhist monks wearing grey robes recited a sutra while other protestors imitated Ms Park, Ms Choi and Samsung scion Lee Jae-Yong being led into prison. If 200 members vote yes, Park will be impeached. The limitation of Park's estimate is that it can not count the candles hidden behind other people or objects. More than 40 Saenuri lawmakers may align with the opposition, he wrote.

If Park is ever questioned, it will be the first face-to-face questioning of a sitting president.

She is now facing a possible impeachment.

The decision to permanently remove the president from office lies in the Constitutional Court, which must decide on the legality of the legislature's impeachment within 180 days.

Impeaching President Park could be a political challenge for opposition parties as the impeachment process can take months and cause division.

Following the prosecution's conclusion that Park was a co-conspirator in a massive abuse of power scandal, Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong and Senior Civil Affairs Secretary Choi Jai-kyeong expressed their intentions to quit on November 21.

Ms. Park wants to deploy a sophisticated US missile system next year to defend against North Korea's advancing nuclear-weapons program. But plenty of South Korean conservatives think Park should go. If the court has not ruled by then, some legal scholars say, those judges could not be replaced, because the president formally appoints them (and Park would still be suspended). No one knows what would happen then.

A poll this week indicates that nine out of 10 South Koreans want Park kicked out of office. That was said to violate an election law requiring the president to remain neutral.

In the face of cold and snow, demonstrators filed into the streets of Seoul over the growing scandal that has engulfed Park's presidency and plunged the nation's government into uncertainty.

Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former aide have been indicted in the case.

Despite the accusations against Park, under the South Korean constitution, a sitting president can not be prosecuted.

The National Assembly is scheduled to recommend two candidates for a chief special prosecutor to Park, who will have to choose one as special counsel by Friday.

Park, whose single five-year term is due to end in February 2018, has apologised twice over the affair, to little effect.

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