Thousands protest in South Korea, demand president quit over scandal


protest

Thousands of South Koreans rallied in Seoul on Saturday (October 29) demanding the resignation of President Park Geun-hye, as a crisis deepened over allegations a friend exerted inappropriate influence over her and interfered in state affairs.

The street protest came as prosecutors investigate presidential aides and other officials to determine whether they broke the law to allow Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, to wield undue influence and gain financially.

The crisis revealed that “President Park Geun-Hye has neither the ability nor capacity to administer the government”, said a protest leader, Han Sun-bum.

About 8,000 people attended the rally, according to police, organised by a group of left-leaning civic groups. Organisers said up to 30,000 people took part in the march through the capital.

Police in riot gear faced some protesters as they tried to march on the presidential Blue House.

Park’s office said late on Friday (October 28) she ordered her senior secretaries to tender their resignations, and she will reshuffle the office in the near future. Her chief of staff separately offered to resign earlier, the office said.

The presidential office said on Saturday it was cooperating with the prosecutors’ investigation, including a request for documents.

Park is in the fourth year of a 5-year one-term presidency. Opposition parties have demanded a thorough investigation, but have not raised the possibility of impeaching her.

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