Hundreds Of Thousands Pressure South Korean President To Quit

Hundreds Of Thousands Pressure South Korean President To Quit

Hundreds Of Thousands Pressure South Korean President To Quit

Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children joined one of the largest anti-government protests ever seen in Seoul on Saturday, demanding South Korean President Park Geun-Hye's resignation over a snowballing corruption scandal.

Organizers estimated that the number of participants in the Saturday rally, the third since the scandal came into focus last month, topped 1 million in Seoul alone, according to local media reports.

Most analysts, however, do not expect her to heed calls to stand down, especially as neither the opposition nor the ruling party-or Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general and potential South Korean presidential candidate-are ready for a snap election.

Despite rising public anger, opposition parties have yet to seriously push for Park's resignation or impeachment over fears of triggering a backlash from conservative voters and negatively impacting next year's presidential election.

Such numbers make it one of the biggest anti-government rallies since the pro-democracy protests of the 1980s.

People came from all across the country to participate in Saturday's protest.

Police said around 260,000 people turned out in Seoul, beating its earlier expectation of up to 170,000. But she has apologized for the scandal, promised to sever ties with Choi and agreed to be questioned by prosecutors.

Prosecutors are investigating whether Park exerted improper pressure on "chaebol" conglomerate bosses to raise funds for two foundations at the center of an influence-peddling scandal involving a friend of hers, Yonhap said citing prosecution sources.

The scandal engulfing Park for the past three weeks has focused on her close friend, Choi Soon-Sil, who is now under arrest on charges of fraud and abuse of power.

Park has since canned swaths of high-level government officials, as former aides are being arrested on charges of abuse of power. Another pollster survey showed on Friday that more than 60 percent of respondents said Park should step down or be impeached.

Park was quizzed four days after prosecutors raided Samsung Electronics' headquarters in Seoul. Choi, the friend who is believed to have been acquainted with the president since the 1970s, has been charged with abuse of power and fraud.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was underway, said prosecutors conveyed their position to Park's office and were awaiting a response.

She apologized again November 4. "The president should step down - what she has done was criminal".

The steady beat of drums and chanted slogans made for a raucous but largely peaceful atmosphere, with banners everywhere mocking Park and calling for her to step down immediately.

Under South Korean law, the president has immunity from prosecution except in cases of treason, but she can be investigated.

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