Anti-President Park Saenuri Party Faction Scheming for a 'Win-Win' whether Impeachment Vote Passes or Fails?
SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- A group of Saenuri Party lawmakers who support the ouster of President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday urged the opposition bloc to revise details on the impeachment motion that will be put to a vote later this week.
Late last week, the three opposition parties handed in an impeachment motion to the parliament, which claimed that Park violated the Constitution and other laws regarding the influence-peddling scandal of her confidante Choi Soon-sil.
The opposition bloc also included the Sewol ferry disaster as one of its reasons for impeaching Park, adding the president failed to protect the lives of the people as stipulated in the Constitution.
The Sewol ferry, which sank on April 16, 2014, was en route to the southern resort island of Jeju from Incheon, west of Seoul, with a total of 476 passengers. Most of the 304 dead were high school students on a field trip.
The Saenuri lawmakers, however, said the impeachment should focus only on charges leveled by state prosecutors, adding the Sewol issue should be removed from the motion altogether.
The group of around 40 non-mainstream Saenuri lawmakers are expected to play a crucial role in the passage of the motion as the opposition bloc is still 28 seats short from meeting the minimum requirement of at least 200 members from the 300-seat National Assembly.
"This, however, is not an official request. We are only asking the opposition bloc to consider such a move," said Rep. Hwang Young-cheul, the spokesman of the group. "This is not a prerequisite for our participation in the impeachment."
Hwang also said Moon Jae-in, a presidential hopeful who formerly led the main opposition, should retire from politics if the impeachment motion fails to be approved by parliament on Friday.
The group said Moon is attempting to take advantage of the situation for his own political ambitions. Moon earlier said Park should step down even if the impeachment motion is passed by the National Assembly, regardless of the Constitutional review.