Supporters, opponents of Park stage big rallies

SEOUL: Supporters of South Korean President Pak Geun-hye rallied on Saturday for her reinstatement while opponents gathered to repeat their demands that the leader impeached over a corruption scandal step down immediately. The Park supporters, who last held a major rally in mid-November, began their demonstration first. Later, anti-Park protesters packed the streets of central Seoul for an eighth straight weekend. Many of the opponents were angry that Park’s lawyers argued on Friday that the impeachment had no legal basis. “This is my first time out here, but yesterday when I heard about her opinion against the impeachment submitted to the Constitutional Court, whatever pity I had felt for her disappeared,” Roh Yi-young, 55, said.

Park’s lawyers struck a defiant note in their first comments since the impeachment vote, saying the motion should be overturned by the Constitutional Court, which has 180 days to review it. The lawyers’ submission to the court rejected all the points made in the impeachment motion approved by a wide margin by parliament on December 9 which accused her of violating her constitutional duty and breaking the law. Park’s presidential powers have been suspended since the vote for impeachment, which set the stage for her to become South Korea’s first elected leader to be thrown out of office. — Reuters