900,000 of South Koreans demand president to resign

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans held a massive rally in Seoul on March 4, demanding the resignation of impeached President Park Geun-hye.

The candle-lit protest was held ahead of a Constitutional Court ruling on whether to uphold the impeachment, expected this month.

Protest organisers estimated turnout at the rally in Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square to be around 900,000 people.

The corruption scandal erupted last year over accusations that Park colluded with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses, including Samsung, the country’s largest conglomerate, to donate to two foundations set up to back the president’s policy initiatives.

Samsung’s head, Jay Y. Lee was arrested in February and will go on trial for bribery and embezzlement on Thursday (March 9).

Park reiterated in a statement to the Constitutional Court read by her lawyer on Monday (February 27) that she did not act in self-interest while in office.

If the impeachment is upheld by Constitutional Court or Park steps down voluntarily, a new election has to be held in 60 days to pick a new leader who will serve a single five-year term. Park’s term was originally set to end in February 2018.

Park would become the country’s first democratically elected president to be thrown out of office.