Korean President Park’s party splits

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Korean President Park Geun-hye: Her Saenuri Party splits
Korean President Park Geun-hye: Her Saenuri Party splits

Suspended South Korean President Park Geun Hye found herself further isolated Tuesday, with 29 lawmakers dumping her Saenuri Party.

Yonhap news agency reported that the 29 rebels split from Park-loyalists and established a new party tentatively named the New Conservative Party.

Earlier this month, South Korea’s parliament voted by a large majority to impeach Park in relation to a corruption scandal involving her longtime confidante Choi Soon Sil.

Of 300 lawmakers, 234 came out in favour of the move, meaning members of the Saenuri Party sided with the opposition.

“Park loyalists have forgotten the true values of conservatism, which has resulted in the loss of the people’s trust. Their loyalty to the president and ignorance of the people’s voice and truth allowed Choi Soon-sil to meddle in state affairs,” the group said Tuesday, according to Yonhap.

Park is accused of giving her friend Choi too much access to the business of government, despite the fact that Choi held no official office.

The constitutional court has six months to decide whether to implement parliament’s impeachment vote and remove Park from office.

Until a decision has been reached, the duties of the president have been suspended. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn has been provisionally carrying out Park’s day-to-day business.

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