S. Korean court to rule on President Park's impeachment on Friday

  • S. Korean court to rule on President Park's impeachment on Friday

S. Korean court to rule on President Park's impeachment on Friday

Two people were killed in protests with riot police, while a third elderly man had a heart attack and died on Saturday.

South Korea's Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye in a unanimous ruling Friday over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide.

Park was caught up in a wide-ranging scandal last October, with millions of demonstrators taking part in candlelight protests demanding her resignation.

While awaiting the decision by the Constitutional Court, Park continued to live in the presidential Blue House.

"By law, the next South Korean election must be held within 60 days since the impeachment", Choi Sungsik, a Seoul-based lawyer, and longtime politics watcher told NK News.

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Thousands of people celebrated the historic decision on the streets of the capital Seoul, with polls showing that between 70 and 80% of South Koreans had wanted the court to throw Ms Park out of office.

Lee accused Park of colluding with Choi to extort tens of millions of dollars from businesses and letting Choi, a private citizen, meddle in state affairs and receive and look at documents with state secrets.

Park's removal would allow South Korean policy makers-including acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn-to focus more on a slowing economy, escalating tensions with North Korea and economic retaliation from China over the Thaad missile-defence system. Both women denied wrongdoing.Park did not appear in court on Friday and did not make any comment after the ruling.

Political instability is gripping Seoul as the South Korean president is removed from office.

Yesterday, hundreds of Park Geun-hye's supporters, many of them older, tried to break through police barricades at the courthouse.

The court's Friday ruling permanently removed Park from office.

Park was also accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours. "President Park Geun-hye. has been dismissed".

Lee's trial for bribery and embezzlement began on Thursday, in a court case being billed as the trial of the century.

Prosecutors have arrested and indicted a slew of high-profile figures over the scandal, including Choi and Samsung's de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong.

"It is time to accept and close the conflict and confrontation we have suffered", Hwang said in a televised speech.