Opposition party takes to streets to protest prosecution probes into leader

SEOUL, The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) staged a large-scale rally in central Seoul on Saturday to protest against the prosecution’s widening corruption probe into its embattled leader.

Tens of thousands of party members joined the rally, as DP leader Lee Jae-myung is currently under investigation over corruption allegations surrounding a massive development project pushed for in Seongnam, south of Seoul, when he was the city’s mayor.

During the event, Lee accused prosecutors of hampering democracy by targeting him, President Yoon Suk Yeol’s former rival in the last presidential race.

“Prosecutors are taking major posts in the government, and they are threatening people with arrest warrants, instead of soldiers’ guns and swords,” Lee said during his closing remarks. “Politics is giving its place to violent ruling.”

He also denounced the government for adding burden on people with rising inflation and widening economic disparity.

“The livelihoods of people are in crisis. Energy prices are soaring, while electricity bills, public transportation fares and interest rates are also rising,” he said. “People are suffering, but banks and refiners hit jackpots and enjoy massive profits.”

The event is the DP’s first outdoor rally since late 2016, when it joined civic groups to oust then President Park Geun-hye involved in a corruption scandal.

The ruling People Power Party (PPP) criticized the main opposition party, which holds 167 seats in the 300-member National Assembly, for abandoning its role to protect its corruption-ridden leader.

“The DP is giving its all to protect its leader Lee Jae-myung, hindering state affairs,” PPP spokesperson Yang Geum-hee said in a commentary. “The DP lost its rationality and conscience. It is giving up on people to protect its leader.”

Source: Yohnap News Agency

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