Violence Erupts In The Streets After South Korean President's Fall

Violence Erupts In The Streets After South Korean President's Fall

Violence Erupts In The Streets After South Korean President's Fall

South Korea's president was kicked out of office Friday after the country's Constitutional Court upheld her impeachment-and while much of the country is celebrating, loyal supporters are furious.

Tens of thousands of South Koreans crowded the streets of Seoul on Saturday, alternately celebrating and protesting the ouster of Park Geun-hye as president, though she has yet to speak or vacate her official residence.

Hereupon, in a unanimous decision by the court panel, we issue a verdict: "We dismiss the defendant, President Park Geun-hye".

According to pre-verdict surveys, around 70 to 80 per cent of the South Koreans wanted the top court to approve Park's impeachment.

Prime Minister Hwang, a Park loyalist, became acting president when parliament voted to impeach her on December 9.

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. A new leader will have to be elected within 60 days.

A likely candidate is liberal Moon Jae-in, who lost to Ms Park in 2012 but now leads the polls. South Korea is under increasingly scary threat from North Korea and pressure from China, a reprisal for Seoul's efforts to bolster regional defense against showers of missiles (which, in a twist, may have brought the country closer to Japan).

Eight judges in the Constitutional Court of Korea will rule at 11 a.m. on the validity of a motion to impeach Park, who has been suspended since parliament voted to oust her in December.

Court to rule on Park on March 10
In the late 1990s, she became a lawmaker in the conservative party and was elected South Korea's first female president in 2012. A decision to confirm the impeachment of President Park needs approval from at least six justices.

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Currently, Moon Jae-In of the Democratic Party is leading in the polls, with one survey putting him nearly 22% ahead of his nearest rival, acting president Hwang Kyo-Ahn, who is loyal to Ms Park.

Parliamentary lawyer Kwon Sung-Dong urged the court to confirm her impeachment and protect South Korea from "enemies of democracy".

The ruling sparked protests from hundreds of her supporters.

Park did not appear in court, and a spokesman said she would not be making any comment.

Ms Park was accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favours, including backing a merger of two Samsung units in 2015 that was seen as supporting the succession of control over the country's largest "chaebol".

Feb 17: Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee arrested for suspected role in the scandal. Well, I guess the big question now is how soon prosecutors will summon her for questioning and what kind of punishment she will face if found guilty of the multiple charges against her. Thank you, Ho-jun, for that.

March 9: Lee's trial begins on charges of bribery and embezzlement.

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