South Koreans rally to demand 'Park-free' 2017

2016-12-31 21:34
South Korean protesters shout slogans in Seoul during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down. (Lee Jin-man, AP)

South Korean protesters shout slogans in Seoul during a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down. (Lee Jin-man, AP)

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Seoul - More than half a million South Koreans marked New Year's Eve with a massive protest on Saturday calling for the immediate arrest and ouster of impeached President Park Geun-Hye.

Candle-carrying and banner-waving protesters marched towards key buildings in Seoul including the presidential Blue House and the prime minister's office.

Police figures were unavailable but organisers estimated crowd numbers to be more than 600 000.

"Park Geun-Hye step down. Go to prison now," they chanted.

Parliament voted on December 9 to impeach Park over a corruption scandal in which she allegedly colluded with her friend, Choi Soon-Sil, to wrest donations from large conglomerates to two dubious foundations.

The case is now being considered by the Constitutional Court, which has up to 180 days to rule on the impeachment.

"I came here to help usher in a new year that has no Park Geun-Hye", Kang Jae-Chun, who was at the protest with his two children, told AFP.

Demonstrators also planned to take part in a midnight ceremony in which a large bronze bell in the city centre is rung to herald in the new year.

It was the tenth protest calling for Park's immediate departure from office.

But Park, who has been suspended from her duties since the impeachment vote, has remained defiant, declaring she will wait until the Constitutional Court arrives at a decision.

Read more on:    south korea

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