President Park's Saenuri Party on Verge of Collapse?
SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party appears to be on the verge of a breakup amid growing tension between rival factions over an impeachment vote against President Park Geun-hye, observers said Monday.
Park loyalists in the party are seeking to give her a chance to step down voluntarily, while dissenters plan to join the opposition-led impeachment vote Friday.
The dissenters' group previously said it is open to her voluntary resignation if she promises this week to resign by the end of April. With their consent, the party unanimously adopted the official position of demanding Park's "honorable retreat" last week.
Following a massive protest Saturday, however, the Park opponents changed their position, saying on Sunday they will join the vote regardless of her announcement.
"The minority group changed their stance only two days after reaching the agreement to have Park step down in April. Now, there's no choice but to have the party separated," a key member of the pro-Park group said. "Now, there's no need to hold talks with them. We will find our own way to minimize the confusion."
The Park loyalists' group is currently seeking to have the presidential office deliver its stance on a voluntary retreat as soon as possible, political pundits said.