The turmoil in South Korean politics has entered a new phase as anti-Park Geun-hye members of the ruling Saeunuri Party have changed their stance on the president's impeachment, while the opposition camp is embroiled in an internal feud. The opposition camp's plan to pass the impeachment bill on December 2 has been scrapped for now.
Despite the strong pressure from the Minjoo Party of Korea and the Justice Party, the People's Party stood against voting on the presidential impeachment bill on December 2nd in order to secure more time to maximize the odds of its passage. In a proposal to the other two opposition parties, the People's Party asked that the National Assembly vote on the impeachment bill on December 5th. The People's Party wants to pass the impeachment bill as soon as possible to begin the impeachment process while continuing to lobby the anti-Park Geun-hye members of the ruling party.
[Soundbite] Park Ji-won(Head of Emergency Committee, People's Party) : "We told the anti-Park members that we would vote on December 5 and that they should make a decision. They were puzzled at first, but they are deliberating it now."
The Minjoo Party of Korea and the Justice Party, which strongly pressured the People's Party to vote on the bill on December 2nd, are considering whether to accept the latter's proposition to hold the vote on December 5th. The leadership of the Minjoo Party has decided to negotiate the matter with the ruling party, because it needs its consent to hold an extraordinary parliamentary session on Monday.
[Soundbite] Choo Mi-ae(Chair, The Minjoo Party of Korea) : "I think that postponing the impeachment process to December 9 will only undermine the impeachment efforts counter to the demands of the public."
Presidential hopefuls from the opposition camp blasted the failure to vote on the impeachment bill on December 2nd. Former Minjoo Party of Korea Chairman Moon Jae-in urged the president to resign immediately and called the ruling party's refusal to impeach her as an act of betrayal toward the public. Former People's Party Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo said that the ruling party must put people's demands ahead of Cheong Wa Dae's and join the impeachment efforts.