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How it works: Impeaching a South Korean president

Associated Press Associated Press 2 days ago
Choo Mi-ae, top center, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Park Jie-won, interim leader of the People's Party, and Sim Sang-jung, top center right, head of the Justice Party, attend a meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. South Korea's three main opposition parties began talks Wednesday to determine when to try to impeach President Park Geun-hye, dismissing as a stalling tactic her offer to resign if parliament arranges a safe transfer of power. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) © The Associated Press Choo Mi-ae, top center, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Park Jie-won, interim leader of the People's Party, and Sim Sang-jung, top center right, head of the Justice Party, attend a meeting at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. South Korea's three main opposition parties began talks Wednesday to determine when to try to impeach President Park Geun-hye, dismissing as a stalling tactic her offer to resign if parliament arranges a safe transfer of power. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean lawmakers could vote this Friday on a bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye. She has been accused by state prosecutors of colluding in the criminal activities of a longtime confidante who allegedly manipulated power from the shadows and extorted companies to build an illicit fortune.

The impeachment motion needs the support of at least 200 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament to pass. There are 172 opposition and independent lawmakers who are expected to vote for Park's removal, which suggests the bill would need the support of at least 28 members of Park's conservative Saenuri Party.

To impeach means to accuse; if the bill goes through, Park would be suspended as president but not removed. Her duties would be temporarily transferred to the prime minister while the country's Constitutional Court reviews whether her impeachment could be constitutionally justified.

The court would be required to make a ruling within 180 days. If six of the court's nine justices support the impeachment, Park will be officially removed from office. The country then has to hold a presidential election within 60 days.

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