Tens of thousands of South Koreans are expected to take to streets over the weekend demanding the resignation of President Park Guen-Hye after she took the responsibility for the abuse of power scandal engulfing her government.
Although smaller protests have taken place across Seoul in the past one week, authorities fear the turnout on Saturday (5 November) could be an unprecedented number and it could turn out to be the largest anti-government in the past one year.
Police expect around 40,000 people but the organisers say as many as 100,000 are expected to turn up on the streets amid growing calls for Park to step down. However, the opposition parties are yet to make a serious push for her resignation or impeachment, reportedly due to fears that it might create a negative impact for next year's presidential elections.
According to the Associated Press, dozens of police buses were parked on the roads that lead to the Blue House. The police are also reportedly planning to shut down few streets to avoid protesters from marching towards the presidential office and residence.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Friday (4 November) called the local authorities to pay close attention to ensure safety during the protests.
"We'd like to urge participants to show a mature sense of citizenship," state news agency Yonhap quoted Hwang as saying.
The rally comes a day after Park blamed herself and her negligence for one of the worst political scandals in the country in the recent times. She called the controversies that allegedly allowed her confidante to manipulate power as "heartbreaking".
"I feel a huge responsibility (for the scandal) deep in my heart," Park said, in a televised apology on Friday (4 November). "It is all my fault and mistake."
The opposition criticised Park's apology saying it lacked sincerity. It also called for the first female president of the country to distance herself from state affairs and focus only on diplomacy, while accepting a prime minister for the domestic affairs role as chosen by the parliament.
Along with the 64-year-old Park, her long time friend, Choi Soon-sil, is at the centre of the scandal, for allegedly influencing political decisions at the highest level. Choi was formally arrested earlier this week on charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud.
Choi was reportedly accused of a lot of things, including helping craft North Korea policy to influencing Seoul's multi-billion-dollar purchase of American F-35 fighter jets, swaying the careers of celebrities, and accumulating millions of dollars in donations to her foundations.