Majority of S.Koreans support President's impeachment: Survey

Indo Asian News Service

Seoul, March 9 (IANS) A majority or eight out of 10 South Koreans support the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye ahead of the constitutional court's final ruling, a survey showed on Thursday.

According to the Realmeter survey, 76.9 per cent of respondents said the impeachment motion must be upheld by the court, while 20.3 per cent favoured its rejection, Xinhua news agency reported.

It was based on a poll of 508 voters conducted on Wednesday. It had 4.3 percentage points as a margin of error.

The court announced its plan on Wednesday to make a final ruling on the impeachment motion on Friday.

If six out of eight justices uphold the motion, President Park will be permanently removed from office immediately.

If over three judges reject the bill, Park will be reinstated and regain presidential power.

Around 90 per cent of liberal and moderate voters favoured Park's impeachment, while the conservative voters were divided by half towards whether to oust the president or reinstate her.

Over 90 per cent of those in their 20s and 30s favoured the impeachment.

Nearly 90 per cent of those in their 40s favoured it, with the figures among those in their 50s and 60s reaching 73.8 per cent and 48.3 per cent each.

Special prosecutors, who had investigated the corruption scandal embroiling Park for 70 days, identified the impeached President as an accomplice to her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil for multiple charges, including bribery.

Choi is now in custody for meddling in state affairs behind the scenes and peddling undue influence for personal gains.

She was also accused of neglecting her duty to protect citizens' lives during a 2014 ferry sinking that killed more than 300.

Park is the second South Korean president to be impeached.

In 2004, then President Roh Moo-hyun was impeached on charges including of illegal electioneering, but he was reinstated by the court two months later.