29 lawmakers quit Korean President Park’s party

SEOUL: Twenty-nine lawmakers departed South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party on Tuesday after factional infighting in the wake of the scandal surrounding President Park Geun Hye and her subsequent impeachment, local media reported.
The group split from Park-loyalists and established a new party tentatively named the New Conservative Party, the Yonhap news agency reported.
Earlier this month, South Korea’s parliament voted by a large majority to impeach Park in relation to a corruption scandal involving her longtime confidante Choi Soon Sil.
Of 300 lawmakers, 234 came out in favour of the move, meaning members of the Saenuri Party sided with the opposition.
“Park loyalists have forgotten the true values of conservatism, which has resulted in the loss of the people’s trust. Their loyalty to the president and ignorance of the people’s voice and truth allowed Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs,” the group said on Tuesday, according to Yonhap.
Park is accused of giving her friend Choi too much access to the business of government, despite the fact that Choi held no official office.
The constitutional court has six months to decide whether to implement parliament’s impeachment vote and remove Park from office.
Until a decision has been reached, the duties of the president have been suspended. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn has been provisionally carrying out Park’s day-to-day business. — dpa