Hundreds of thousands protest in South Korea against President Park Geun-hye
Hundreds of thousands rallied in central Seoul on Saturday for a fifth week of protests against President Park Geun-hye.
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. Despite cold weather and the first snow of the season, a crowd that organizers estimated at 1.5 million gathered to denounce Park. The protests, which began five weeks ago, were the largest in South Korea since pro-democracy demonstrations of the 1980s.
The president has been accused by prosecutors of helping a friend commit extortion and is facing the possibility of impeachment within weeks.
Park will not be charged because the South Korean Constitution affords the President immunity while holding office. She is set to leave office in February 2018 as she cannot run in the presidential election in December next year.
Opposition parties hope to impeach her with the support of some lawmakers from her party.No South Korean president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.
Protesters accused Park of trying to take South Korea back to the time when it was ruled by military dictators, including her father, Park Chung-hee.
Park’s approval ratings slipped one percentage point on Friday after hovering at just 5 percent for three consecutive weeks. Her disapproval rating rose three percentage points to 93 percent, according to a poll by Gallup Korea.
Her support is lowest amongst young people. Ninety-nine percent of 19-29 year-olds and 98 percent of people in their thirties disapproved of Park.