22:36 GMT +319 July 2018
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    Dozens of S Korean Lawmakers Defect From Ruling Party After Political Scandal

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    Almost 30 lawmakers from South Korea's ruling Saenuri Party on Tuesday left the party, following the scandal surrounding suspended South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her aides involved in the corruption activities, local media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On December 20, a group of 35 Saenuri members announced that they would leave the party after the scandal.

    A total of 29 Saenuri lawmakers left the party and along with one more lawmaker, who had left the party in November, they had announced creation of a new conservative party, The Korea Herald newspaper reported.

    The newspaper added that after the split the Saenuri party became the second largest in the country's parliament with 99 seats, while the opposition Democratic Party of Korea preserved its 121 seats.

    Political scandal around the president broke out in late October when media reported that Park allowed Choi Soon-sil, her friend and "shadow adviser," who held no official post, to edit her speeches thus letting her influence the country's policy. Moreover, Choi is accused of pressuring South Korean big corporations and extorting money from them for her non-commercial funds.

    On December 9, the South Korean parliament voted in favor of starting the process of impeachment against the embattled leader over the scandal involving Choi. The decision is now with the country's Constitutional Court. The country's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has become acting president until the court approves or rejects his appointment.

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    scandal, Saenuri party, Park Geun-hye, Choi Soon-sil, South Korea
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