South Korean President Park Geun-hye Impeached
This impeachment signals an ignominious end to a term that had become mired in a corruption scand
In an end to six week of street protests and an approval rating that plunged to just 4%, South Korean President Park Geun-hye was impeached on Friday by the nation’s national assembly.
This impeachment signals an ignominious end to a term that had become mired in a corruption scandal.
In order to impeach the President, it required at least 28 of Park’s fellow Saenuri party lawmakers to cross the aisle to make up the majority two-thirds of the 300-seat legislature. The final vote was 234 to 56 in favor of impeachment.
It is to be noted that Park has been suspended with immediate effect although the vote needs to be ratified by the nation’s Constitutional Court within 180 days to become permanent.
In a back view of the case, it has been reported that in a recent opinion survey 78 per cent of respondents supported her impeachment.
Prime Minister of South Korea, Hwang Kyo-ahn has taken over her responsibilities in the interim, though Park had already offered to resign if lawmakers voted against her. If she does, new elections must be held within 60 days.
Park,64, is accused of sharing classified documents with her longtime confidante, Choi Soon-sil. Choi has been charged with using her influence over Park to wrest almost $70 million from some of South Korea’s biggest companies, including LG, Hyundai and Samsung.
Reports claimed that crowds between 500,000 to 1.5 million have thronged central Seoul in recent weeks to demand Park’s ouster.
It has been said that the corruption scandal signifies symptomatic of wider problems in Korean society, including soaring income inequality, ingrained sexism and a lack of social mobility.