Clashes between supporters of ousted President Park Geun-hye and police Friday raised concerns of additional conflict between the authorities and anti-Park demonstrators at a scheduled protest in Seoul, Saturday.
There were no such clashes, but there are still grounds for concern, observers said Sunday.
“We cannot accept the ruling, which was made in rebellion to the state,” Park supporters said in a protest held in front of City Hall, Saturday, calling for another ruling by a nine-member panel of justices.
“We demand that the Constitutional Court appoint nine new justices to give another ruling.”
The court usually has a nine-member panel of justices, but the impeachment ruling Friday was made by eight, as the former court president, Justice Park Han-chul, retired in January and was not replaced. The court, however, fulfilled the requirement of having at least seven justices make the ruling.
But pro-Park activists claimed the court hurried to make the ruling before the retirement of acting President Lee Jung-mi.
They added the court’s ruling supporting the impeachment was based only on “minor offenses.”
However, it is highly unlikely that these demands will be accepted. This is because an appeal against a ruling can only be made when major procedural flaws are uncovered or evidence is later proven to be false. In addition, the ruling on Park’s impeachment was unanimous, and even Park’s legal representatives are opposed to making an appeal.
The activists vowed to launch a new political party to “establish a country in which justice and truth, protection of the Constitution and law, and democracy exists.” Last month, they launched a preparation committee and registered with the National Election Commission.
They said they will hold another protest Saturday, and will seek to have Park attend.
How they will achieve their goals remains to be seen.
Some have argued that the pro-Park campaign lost momentum after the impeachment ruling. They also say deaths during their protest will further weaken the motivation of mostly elderly members to fight, citing that the number of Park supporters was visibly fewer at Saturday’s protest.
In protests following the court’s ruling, Friday, three men died.
According to results of an autopsy, a man surnamed Lee, 73, and another surnamed Kim, 66, died from cardiac arrests and another man surnamed Kim, 72, died from injuries sustained to his head and chest after being hit by a speaker.