December 11, 2016 / 6:16 AM / 9 months ago

South Korea says Park impeachment could worsen sentiment

South Korea's finance minister Yoo Il-ho answers questions from reporters during his visit to a port in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, January 15, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s finance minister said on Sunday parliament’s vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye could hamper economic growth if sentiment was undermined.

Minister Yoo Il-ho said the current economic situation was very different from the circumstances Asia’s fourth-largest economy saw during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, but it had scope to further burden growth.

“Amid so much global uncertainty, this political situation is further weighing on the economy and a downturn in sentiment could be another problem,” Yoo told a news conference for foreign media in Seoul.

“This is likely the biggest economic hurdle the political issue at hand could bring about.”

Parliament on Friday passed a bill to impeach President Park over an influence-peddling scandal.

A Constitutional Court must now consider the vote and decide whether to uphold it.

Yoo said the government’s budget for next year would be implemented “faithfully” while his ministry’s existing policy stance would be maintained in a consistent manner.

When asked about government ministers would step down, as demanded by some opposition lawmakers, Yoo said ministers believes they should fulfill their duties according to the law.

Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Sam Holmes

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