South Koreans continue candlelight vigil even after Park’s impeachment

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Seoul, Dec 10 (IANS) Thousands of South Koreans flooded the square in central Seoul again on Saturday even after the bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye was overwhelmingly passed through the National Assembly on Friday.

Instead of being satisfied with the impeachment, protesters demanded Park immediately step down as president to minimise a vacuum in state affairs and transfer power to the next president, Xinhua news agency reported.

People gathered around the Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, just over a km away from the presidential Blue House where Park’s office and residence are located.

Before an official function kicked off at 6 p.m. (local time), nearly 200,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential office, surrounding it on three sides for about two hours and chanting “Imprison Park Geun-hye,” “Park Geun-hye, resign” and “Cabinet, resign en bloc”.

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This was followed by a lights-out event for a minute at 7 p.m. local time. It is aimed to encourage people watching the rallies on TV to indirectly join the outside protest by turning off lights in offices and apartments.

Demonstrators are set to carry out their second march to the Blue House, before allowing people to make free speeches on a stage at the square.

Park was stripped of all executive powers, which were handed to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, but her permanent removal from office requires a two-thirds endorsement from the nine-judge constitutional court that can take up to 180 days to rule on it.

Protesters were still wary of the court’s ruling as many of the conservative-leaning judges were appointed by President Park and her predecessor.

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