South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye became the country’s first democratically elected leader to be removed from office after a constitutional court on Friday upheld parliament’s decision to impeach her over involvement in a massive corruption scandal. The ruling, which strips Park of her presidential immunity and clears the way to press criminal charges against her, sparked violent protests on streets leaving two people dead in clashes with the police.
The judges ruled that Park breached the constitution and law during her tenure, stifled the voice of critics and concealed the truth, writes Reuters. Park could now face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and influence-peddling in connection to her links with Choi Soon-sil, a close aide who forced several companies to donate millions of dollars to her N.G.O.s.
S. Korea now heads for a snap presidential election to be held within next 60 days, notes the BBC. The outcome of new polls may not only change the political landscape within the country but could also reset foreign policy and economic equations with the United States and N. Korea.