South Korean court rules to oust President Park over alleged Samsung bribes

South Korean court rules to oust President Park over alleged Samsung bribes

South Korean court rules to oust President Park over alleged Samsung bribes

The parliament voted to impeach her on December 9, following weeks of massive street rallies calling for her resignation amid a burgeoning scandal involving her and Choi.

Ms Park was already suspended from presidential duties, with the prime minister taking over her responsibilities.

It was subsequently reported that this woman, Choi Soon-sil, had access to secret government files and had influenced Park.

At another remove, governance in South Korea has been shaken to its foundations with Friday's dramatic development that renders Park Geun-hye, the first democratically-elected President of South Korea, to be forced out of office.

Ms. Park's acts "betrayed the trust of the people and were of the kind that can not be tolerated for the sake of protecting the Constitution", Justice Lee said.

"The removal of the claimee from office is overwhelmingly to the benefit of the protection of the constitution", he said.

Park has not been seen or heard from since the Constitutional Court's ruling Friday, which ended a power struggle that had consumed the nation for months.

Hwang has called for calm and promised that a snap presidential election, which has to be held within 60 days, would be smooth.

Outside South Korea's Constitutional Court Friday morning, thousands of South Koreans crammed onto the street to await the ruling.

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The Constitutional Court's verdict to oust President Park Geun-hye cleared political uncertainty for the Korean economy, but external risks such as trade issues with the USA still remain great challenges, experts said.

Prosecutors say the case for removing Park from office for her role in the corruption scandal could not have been clearer, but her lawyers have vowed to fight on, the Washington Post reports.

At times, Park and her supporters have bridled at associating her with her father, who seized power in a 1961 coup and ruled for 18 years until he was gunned down by his security chief in 1979.

Aidan George Foster-Carter, Korea expert and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Leeds University argues that the South Korean public "is not very divided".

Park did not appear in court for the ruling, and she has yet to publicly comment on the ruling. Two people were killed in protests with riot police, while a third elderly man had a heart attack and died on Saturday.

Park was South Korea's first female president and the daughter of the military dictator Park Chung-hee.

According to a nationwide survey of 1,005 people by Gallup Korea this week, 32% of respondents preferred Moon as their next president, down from 34% a week ago.

But Park has avoided a direct investigation thanks to a law that gives a sitting president immunity from prosecution for most of alleged crimes.

The scandal has also swept up South Korea's biggest chaebol Samsung.

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