SEOUL, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korean opposition lawmakers agreed to resign en bloc unless the bill to impeach embattled President Park Geun-hye is passed through the National Assembly amid the lingering uncertainties from the ruling party.
Woo Sang-ho, floor leader of the biggest opposition Minjoo Party, said senior party members agreed that all lawmakers of the party would vacate their seats if the impeachment motion is not passed through the unicameral assembly.
The bill is scheduled to be put to vote on Friday.
The Minjoo Party, which has 121 parliamentary seats, is set to hold a general meeting later in the day, before submitting the resignation en bloc to the party leadership, according to Yonhap news agency report.
Spokesman of the minor opposition People's Party, which has 38 seats in the parliament, told a press briefing that all party legislators agreed to drop their seats if the bill is not passed in the 300-seat assembly.
The impeachment bill was put forward last Saturday by opposition and independent lawmakers, but at least 28 ruling Saenuri Party lawmakers are required to vote for it to overcome the two-thirds threshold. The governing party has 128 parliamentary seats.
President Park has allowed the ruling party members to freely vote on it, but uncertainties remained as the party leadership still adheres to its proposal of letting Park resign voluntarily by next April to hold a presidential election two months later.
Saenuri Party Chairman Lee Jung-hyun told a party meeting that the assembly needs to think again about stopping the impeachment process and kicking off the president's resignation in April and the presidential election in June next year.
The proposal was cast into doubt as President Park lost credibility by repeatedly refusing to be interrogated by prosecutors even after promising it during her address to the nation over the scandal involving herself and her longtime confidante.
Park was identified as a criminal accomplice to Choi Soon-sil, her decades-long friend who has been indicted on multiple counts including abuse of power and extortion. She became the first sitting South Korean leader to be investigated as a suspect.
Almost eight out of 10 South Koreans demanded President Park's immediate resignation or impeachment, according to a poll released on Tuesday. Last Saturday's protest rally drew 2.32 million ordinary South Koreans across the country, marking the largest-ever demonstration in constitutional history.
Uncertainties also linger about the faction of the ruling party, which is not loyal to President Park. The clan is being divided over whether to include Park's responsibility for the initial bungling of rescue operations in the country's worst maritime disaster in the impeachment motion.
The scandal-hit president has long been criticized for her improper response to the catastrophe on April 16, 2014 when the ferry Sewol sank in the country's southwestern waters and killed over 300 passengers, mostly high school students on a school trip to the southern resort island of Jeju.
For about seven hours after the incident, called here as a "golden time" for rescue operations, President Park disappeared from public view and triggered a variety of media speculations about whether she was absent from the presidential office.
If the responsibility for Park is included in the impeachment bill, some anti-Park faction members of the Saenuri Party reportedly plan to go against the bill. Local media speculations varied from as many as 220 votes in favor of the impeachment to as few as 195 in favors.