News Worms
News Worms

What Now? Court Ruling Triggers Early Presidential Election

What Now? Court Ruling Triggers Early Presidential Election

South Korea's constitutional court has ruled to formally end the rule of impeached President Park Geun-hye. "President Park Geun-hye has been dismissed", said court chairman Lee Jung-mi. He will soon announce a snap presidential election, which is constitutionally required to happen within 60 days.

The daughter of military dictator Park Chung-hee, Park was the country's first female president. Ms Park will now come under intense scrutiny from prosecutors, with no presidential immunity to protect her.

An independent investigator claims the former president was an accomplice to Choi in attempting to extract 43bn won (£30.9m) from the technology giant, saying the two friends "shared economic interests", the Korea Herald reports. The Democratic Party, the main opposition holding the largest seat in the National Assembly and whose candidates lead the popular polls, is the only party to have begun primary procedure.

In a written statement on Monday, Ms Park against said she was innocent of the charges but had "belated regret, that I should have been more cautious with my trust in her [Ms Choi]".

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Protests erupted in the aftermath of the court's decision on Friday, with two people reported to have died during the violence. So, you are talking about a time when lots of these security tensions are mounting on the Korean peninsula, and South Korea is facing pressure in its relations with China and also uncertainty at least in its relations the US.

In a unanimous verdict, the eight-judge panel upheld the decision to remove Park from office.

Following a December 9 parliamentary vote to impeach her, Park has been suspended but conservative supporters have led increasingly prominent counter-protests.

Park is the first democratically elected leader of South Korea to be ousted and was impeached because of a corruption scandal.

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A productive relationship is expected to prevail for the remaining term of acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, and with whoever is elected as the next president, the US statement read.

A spokesman said on Friday she would leave and return to her private home in Seoul.

"The fierce actions of the people from all walks of life in South Korea have passed death sentence on the traitor, an eruption of the pent-up wrath and anger at her group of traitors".

Prosecutors have arrested and indicted a slew of high-profile figures over the scandal, including Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil, top Park administration officials and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong.

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