The three opposition parties of South Korea have introduced a bill in parliament on Saturday, 3 December, to impeach scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye. The bill was introduced after 171 members of the 300-seat unicameral assembly signed it, accusing Geun-hye of abusing her power.

"We hereby propose impeachment proceedings to protect the constitution and restore constitutional order by removing President Park Geun-hye from office.

"The will of the people that President Park Geun-hye should be made to cease exercising the duty of president is clear. The sovereign will has been shown clearly through rallies and protests peacefully attended by countless numbers of the public regardless of generation, ideology or background," the bill stated.

Geun-hye has been embroiled in a political controversy over accusations of allowing her friend, Choi Soon-sil, to access government documents without authorisation. Choi is accused of trying to extract a large amount of money from the country's companies and is under arrest on charges of fraud and misuse of power.

Since then, demands for Geun-hye's resignation have been growing. But the president has denied any wrongdoing and continued to ignore the opposition's demands as well as public protests.

According to reports, the oppositions have decided to hold a parliamentary impeachment vote on Park on 9 December. Under the country's law, a bill once introduced is evaluated by the parliament secretariat before it can be reported to the plenary session.

After that, it is expected to go to the session on coming Thursday, the parties have said.

The opposition parties have enough members to bring the impeachment but are short of the two-thirds majority required to pass the bill. They will need 28 members from the ruling Saenuri Party to bring the vote.

However, it was not clear whether enough Saenuri members would support the vote.

If the bill got cleared, Geun-hye could become the first democratically elected leader to step down from office early in shame.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye
People march during a protest calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji