SEOUL, Nov. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s opposition parties said Tuesday they tentatively agreed to put the impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye up for a vote later this week.
“We will quickly move to complete the impeachment this week,” Woo Sang-ho, the floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, said during a party meeting Tuesday.
Park Jie-won, floor leader of the splinter People’s Party, also said the opposition parties agreed to hand in the motion to parliament by Thursday to proceed with the vote Friday.
Three opposition parties, including the minor Justice Party, plan to draft a unified impeachment motion Tuesday and send it to ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers outside the pro-Park faction to get their opinions on it before coming up with a final version.
Woo urged the Saenuri lawmakers to cooperate to speed up the procedures.
The motion needs at least 28 Saenuri lawmakers’ approval to meet the necessary two-third majority of the 300-seat National Assembly.
Political pundits estimate around 40 Saenuri members should support the motion considering some of the opposition and independent lawmakers may unexpectedly vote against the impeachment.
While several senior Park loyalists from Saenuri asked Park to step down voluntarily Monday, the opposition parties said such a move still cannot stop them from seeking the impeachment.
A group of first-term lawmakers in Saenuri also said Tuesday it is more “desirable” to have Park step down rather than seeking the impeachment.
A lawmaker of the Democratic Party, meanwhile, said Park may face a prison sentence if the existing allegations turn out to be true.
“Based on our calculations, advised by legal experts, Park may face a 45-year jail term if the court decides to slap her with imprisonment for a limited term,” Rep. Yun Ho-jung of the main opposition said, adding the president is expected to serve at least 10 years.
Park may faces charges of abusing power to raise funds from conglomerates and leaking confidential state information, as well as bribery, Yun claimed.