- President Park’s first to be impeached from office;
- Two die after rival protesters clash;
South Korean’s President Park Geun-hye has been ousted from power on Friday by the country’s constitutional court over severe graft scandal that necessitated lawmakers move for her impeachment last December.
The atmosphere is tensed in Seoul with pro and anti-supporters of the ousted president took to streets in protest which has led to the death of two persons amidst; growing tensions with North Korea and China recently.
Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn has called the casualties regrettable noting that several others were injured during the protest as the further details of the deaths were not provided.
In a televised national broadcast on South Korea television Hwang urged citizens to be unit and calm saying:
“We all need to respect the decision of the constitutional court. There will be people who cannot accept this and find it hard to submit to this, but now is the time to accept and end the conflict and opposition.”
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Park’s ouster is the first time a democratically elected South Korean president is forced humiliated from office, ending months of investigations and turmoil over corruption scandal which the multinational tech giants, Samsung’s chief in jail recently.
Following her ouster, the country will hold elections in the next 60 days to elect a new president.
Park did not appear in court for the rulings neither is she expected to make any comments nor would she be leaving the presidential Blue House residence on Friday.
“For now, Park is not leaving the Blue House today,” Blue House spokesman Kim Dong Jo told Reuters.
The eight panel of judges on the court unanimously voted to dethrone Park, Korea’s first female president.
Justice Lee Jung-mi on live broadcast Friday told the nation the decision of the judges which set shocked the nation.
“We announce the decision as the unanimous opinion of all judges. We dismiss the defendant President Park,” said Lee Jung-mi.
Acting chief judge, Lee, said Park had violated the constitution and law “throughout her term”, and despite the objections of parliament and the media, she had concealed the truth and cracked down on critics.
Park, 65, hard consistently denied any wrong doing.
Major Developments of in South Korea
- Development Seoul’s first female president is first democratically elected leader to be impeached from office.
- Two protested dead as rival protesters take to streets for and against the court rulings
- Park loses her presidential immunity, Park can be liable to full investigation
- Park can be investigated “as a common criminal” – North Korea
Factional groups who supported Park have taken to the streets to express their disgust of the court rulings that forced Park from office with the protesters rejecting the judgment noting Park is still their president and will always be.
“We lost our liberty. We lost our Korea,” one protestor spoke on live television broadcast.
“We cannot understand impeachment for our president,” another said. “She is still our president, tomorrow she will be our president.”
Thousands of Park’s supporters waved South Korean flags as they stood on main thoroughfares near the Constitutional Court.
Pro-Park demonstrators stormed the court premises which was been surrounded by riot police placed strategically with busses some 200 meters (650 ft) from the court.
The scene was violent that the furious protesters slammed and rocked the buses in a bid to overturn them as other protested climbed the roots of parked vehicles.
However, protesters opposed to Park’s administration were in jubilation as the verdict was delivered on live TV. They had endured long, freezing nights under harsh temperatures protesting her leadership, camping out through long winter nights as the held candlelit vigils.
U.S., NORTH KOREA REACTS
The United State which is a key ally of Seoul was quick at offering assurances that both the U.S. and Seoul would continue to work together to main cordial relationship.
“We will continue to work with Prime Minister Hwang for the remainder of his tenure as acting President, and we look forward to a productive relationship with whomever the people of South Korea elect to be their next president,” acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
“The US-ROK alliance will continue to be a linchpin of regional stability and security, and we will continue to meet all our alliance commitments, especially with respect to defending against the threat from North Korea.”
The official news agency of North Korea noted that Park has been stripped off her immunity noting that she “will be receiving (a) full-scale investigation” as a “common criminal.”
Source: www.stingged.com/DCMA/Reuters, CNN