MIXED REACTIONS, AS SOUTH KOREAN LAWMAKERS IMPEACH PRESIDENT

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[SOUTH KOREA] After lawmakers on Friday voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye, thousands have flocked the streets of capital city Seoul to express their feelings.

Early on Saturday, supporters of Park angrily protested before the Seoul City Hall, singing the national anthem and waving the Korean flag.

Some broke down in tears, lamenting the end of an era.

“We impeach the impeachment,” a presenter shouted from the stage outside Seoul City Hall.

Jung Yun-hee, 64, questioned the decision,, saying that it was unfair and did not keep with the provisions of the law. “Even if Park was responsible for mismanagement, she didn’t personally profit,” she said.

“The freedom of the democracy and the constitution are being threatened,” said Kim Jung-hyun, in his 40s.

“There was no reason for the impeachment,” Jason Choi, 36, told CNN outside City Hall, where he stood draped in a South Korean flag. “But we will follow the decision of the court.”

Conversely, many expressed ecstasy over the decision to impeach the president, also taking the streets to celebrate.

Thousands of anti-Park citizens held an elaborate rally celebrating the new development on the historic Gwanghwamun Square, in front of the Seoul’s Imperial Palace.

According to the Yonhap news agency, more than 70% of Koreans support Park’s impeachment.

At the Gwanghwamun Square rally, rock bands played music, eliciting a a festival-like vibe.

Unlike the pro-Park rally, attendees at the square represented a cross section of Seoul society, as families with children, students, office workers and trade unionists celebrated together.

“We finally have our weekend back,” a presenter shouted from stage. Many of those in the crowd have been turning out every Saturday long before the impeachment to protest the continued legitimacy of Parks’ presidency.

University student Kim Ga-yun, 26, said, “We’ve been (protesting) for more than 90 days,” she said. “At least today, we should be allowed to have a celebration.”

“Before, when there were other protests, I would just sit at home, even when I agreed,” said Lee Dong-sun, housewife of 36. “But after I had children, I felt I could no longer ride on the backs of others … to bring them the future I desire.”

However, some have called for caution in over a celebrating the matter.

Artist An Hyun-jung, 30, a vocal critic of Park’s, who has been holding performances on Gwanghwamun Square said there was still much to do.

“It doesn’t feel like this is the end, I think we will be heading to the next fight,” she said.




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