NATIONAL

Angry Park supporters call for repeal of impeachment

By Shin Hyon-hee
  • Published : Mar 11, 2017 - 17:06
  • Updated : Mar 12, 2017 - 13:27

One day after President Park Geun-hye was formally ousted by the court, thousands of her supporters took to the streets in central Seoul on Saturday, calling for the impeachment to be nullified.

“We cannot accept or yield to a ruling by the Constitutional Court. In the name of the people, we demand the dissolution of the court and a retrial by nine new justices,” said Jeong Kwang-yong, head of an association of groups against Park’s impeachment. 

Supporters of former President Park Geun-hye stage a parade in downtown Seoul on Saturday in protest against the Constitutional Court`s decision to expel her a day ago. (Yonhap)

The eight-justice court unanimously ruled to remove her from office Friday. It said Park had abused her presidential authority to help her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil pursue personal gain, which violated the spirit of democracy and rule of law.

Park has not offered any message of concession nor moved out of the presidential compound. She is expected to move in the next few days.

A pro-Park protester waves the national flag during a rally in central Seoul on Saturday. (Yonhap)

Park’s supporters angrily reacted to the verdict, denouncing the court as “biased” and vowing not to accept the result.

“I came here because I was just so angry. I cannot help but think that there is a well-devised plot behind it -- probably North Korea,” Seo Seok-reen, 64, told The Korea Herald. “Park was framed. She is not at all involved in wrongdoings committed by Choi Soon-sil.”

“Now I think protecting liberal democracy can only be earned by blood.”

Singing to military marches and waving South Korean national flags, Park’s staunch supporters chanted “Invalidate of the impeachment” and “Illegal Constitutional Court!”

Among the participants was Kim Pyeong-woo, a lawyer for Park in the impeachment trial. Taking a makeshift podium, he called for “taking down left-wing media and the court to establish a country governed by the rule of law,” bringing cheers from others, with some shouting “It’s a fraud!” “It’s nonsense!” and “I will kill them.”

A pro-Park protester holds a sign calling for the invalidation of the impeachment during a rally in central Seoul on Saturday. (Yonhap)

There have been growing fears of possible violence. Three pro-Park protestors died from injuries sustained during a violent protest Friday, which prompted police to raise its alert to the second-highest level Saturday, dispatching some 16,000 officers.

There were no major reports of injuries during Saturday’s rally. But earlier in the morning, two pro-Park supporters were taken into custody after pouring gasoline on a police station in central Seoul, blaming police for the deaths of the protestors.

“The deaths that took place yesterday are all because police used force first. The violent rallies are a fraud, a result of unfair media coverage. Accidents took place because the media do not tell the truth,” said Pyeon In-sook, 65.

Anti-Park protesters, who have been holding candlelight vigils almost every Saturday evening since Park’s scandal surfaced in late October, are set to stage what could be the last rally in Gwanghwamun Square at 4 p.m. -- this time to celebrate their victory.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com) and Bak Se-hwan (sh@heraldcorp.com)