By Park Si-soo
The 8th mass anti-President rally is under way in downtown Seoul on Saturday. Nearly 770,000 people joined the protest, demanding the Constitutional Court speed up its review of the endorsed impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye and make a ruling removing Park from the Presidency permanently.
The protest came one day after the President's attorneys dismissed all impeachment charges. They urged the court to reject the impeachment motion that was endorsed on Dec. 9 with overwhelming support of opposition lawmakers and defiant members of Park's ruling Saenuri Party.
During the rally, the protesters marched within 100 meters from the Constitutional Court, which has up to six months to decide whether to approve the parliament's motion or to reinstate Park. The march also headed to the residence of Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn in Samcheong-dong and to the Constitutional Court of Korea in Jae-dong.
"We urge the Constitutional Court to make a ruling on the presidential impeachment as soon as possible to minimize disorder in state affairs," the rally's organizers said in a joint statement. "We also call for President Park's immediate resignation and an early presidential election to minimize the administrative vacuum."
Meanwhile, members of about 30 pro-Park groups, collectively called "Park Sa Mo"(literally meaning people who love Park), staged a separate rally near the Constitutional Court on Saturday, calling the court to reject the motion.
If six members of the nine-judge court find the impeachment justifiable, Park will be removed from office permanently and South Korea will have 60 days to elect a successor through a nationwide election. But if fewer than six judges do so, Park will immediately return to power.