Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Roh to be impeached?

South Korea's President, Roh Moo Hyun, is facing a possible impeachment:

The turbulent, year-old presidency of South Korea's Roh Moo Hyun was hit with its most serious political challenge to date Tuesday when the two main opposition parties initiated impeachment proceedings in parliament.

The motion to impeach the president, unprecedented in South Korea, follows a series of corruption scandals and Roh's messy divorce from his political party. In the incident that prompted the impeachment proceedings, opponents complained that the plain-spoken labor lawyer was trying to manipulate parliamentary elections scheduled for next month.

To initiate an impeachment, Roh's opponents needed a simple majority in the 271-member parliament — a threshold they easily exceeded with 159 lawmakers endorsing Tuesday's motion. But to go forward with the impeachment, a two-thirds vote is required.

A secret ballot is to be held before 6 p.m. Friday. If the measure is approved, it will then go to the Constitutional Court for a final ruling.

"President Roh's unfaithful performance and rash governance created political instability and the nation is falling into extreme misery," Roh's opponents said in the motion.


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