South Korean President to resign amidst scandal

South Korean President to resign amidst scandal

South Korean President to resign amidst scandal

Written by Tharushan Fernando

09 Dec, 2016 | 8:47 pm

Today, South Korean lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to impeach President Park Geun-hye over an influence-peddling scandal, setting the stage for her to become the country’s first elected leader to be pushed from office in disgrace.

Members of parliament voted by secret ballot with 234 in favour and 56 opposed, meaning dozens of members of Park’s own conservative Saenuri Party backed the motion to remove her. At least 200 members of the 300-seat chamber was needed to vote for the motion for it to pass.

Speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, Chung Sye-kyun announced that the impeachment bill of President Park Geun-hye has passed

The Constitutional Court must decide whether to uphold the motion, a process that could take up to 180 days. Park’s duties were immediately assumed by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on an interim basis.

Sixty-four- year-old Park, is accused of colluding with a friend and a former aide, both of whom have been indicted by prosecutors, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.

People take part in a rally calling for President Park Geun-hye to step down in central Seoul, South Korea, November 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Park has been under heavy pressure to quit but this week said she would await the court’s ruling on the impeachment vote.

Mass rallies have been held in the capital, Seoul, every Saturday for the past six weeks to press her to quit. Opinion polls show overwhelming public support for her impeachment.

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