Candlelight Revolution Favorite 



Nov 5 2016

The dramatic demonstration of people power on the streets, called the “Candlelight Revolution,” was sparked off by President Park’s abuse of power and corruption. She had shared classified information on state affairs with her close confidantes, including Ms. Choi Soon-sil, and she is alleged to have taken bribes from conglomerates, advancing her private interests, and also abused power by oppressing people critical of her government through the mobilization of state power.

The number of protesters rose rapidly since the first candlelight vigil on October 29, 2016, and exceeded 2 million in Seoul alone in early December that year. Caving in to mounting pressure from citizens, the National Assembly passed an impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye in which 234 of the 300 lawmakers in the National Assembly (78%) voted in favor of impeachment. Pending the final decision by the Constitutional Court, the mass rallies lasted throughout the winter and the court finally upheld the motion to impeach the president unanimously on March 11, 2017. She was sentenced on April 6, 2018, to 24 years in prison.

Later that year, in early presidential elections on May 9, 2017, Moon Jae-in, the candidate of the main opposition party, won the election. That was the last part of the first phase of the Candlelight Revolution.

More than 2,300 civic groups in 70 cities joined the Emergency Citizen Action for Park Geun-hye’s Resignation (called the Emergency Citizen Action) which led the weekly candlelight rallies. The Emergency Citizen Action estimated that more than 16 million people cumulatively took to the streets during the period.


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