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South Korea prime minister facing mounting threat of impeachment

20 April 2015 9:35

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South Korea’s main opposition party aims to increase efforts to impeach Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo over a high-level bribery scandal.

Speaking at a party meeting, the head of the opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) called on Lee to step down from his post as “citizens cannot wait any more.”

Moon Jae-in said that his party will push ahead for a bill to force the premier to quit, and urged the ruling Saenuri Party to agree on a speedy parliamentary vote to resolve the scandal as soon as possible.

Several high-level officials in President Park Geun-hye’s administration are facing bribery allegations, and the president herself has vowed to punish the corrupt elements in her administration.

The scandal reached its climax after the suicide of a powerful South Korean businessman who claimed he had given money to the prime minister and several other close allies of the president.

The businessman, Sung Wan-jong, hanged himself in Seoul on April 9 after his construction company went bankrupt. In his pocket, police found a note that listed the names of eight people, including the prime minister, who allegedly received bribes from Sung. Before his death, in a newspaper interview, Sung claimed to have given Lee 30 million won (27,000 dollars) in cash in 2013, when he was running for a parliamentary seat.

Prime Minister Lee has denied any wrongdoing.

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