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S.Korea eyes economic risks as impeachment looms

Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 01:46

South Korea's finance ministry has expressed concern about further risks to the economy from ''domestic issues'', as parliament prepares to hold an impeachment vote on South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Ryan Brooks reports.

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South Korea's disgraced president may have just one day left in office. Park Geun-hye's been named an accomplice in a scheme to shake down top Korean companies for millions of dollars but she can't be criminally charged while in power. On Friday, if she's impeached in parliament - which is likely - Park will be immediately stripped of her power. Then she'll face an uphill battle hoping to overturn the motion- in South Korea's high constitutional court. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACK KIM, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "The constitutional court hears only cases directly related to constitutional affairs, the president has effectively put her fate in the hands of the nine judges who sit on the bench. They have up to 180 days to decide whether the parliament's impeachment bill against the president is valid." Two of the nine sitting judges could leave next year... and during this crisis, they're unlikely to be replaced. A smaller bench may help Park, since the number of judges to uphold impeachment would remain at six. But experts say in Park's case, the odds stay stacked against her. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JACK KIM, REUTERS REPORTER, SAYING: "We've spoken to two former judges who served on the court, one of them was part of a team of lawyers who defended former president Roh Mu-hyun in 2004 in the only other impeachment case in the country. His experience gives him special insight into the process. He believes that the case against the president is strong." If Park is impeached in parliament, she'll have to step down from power and the country's prime minister will step in. Analysts say the opposition-led parliament is unlikely to cooperate with him grinding national affairs to a halt as Park's fate hangs in limbo.

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S.Korea eyes economic risks as impeachment looms

Thursday, December 08, 2016 - 01:46