Opponents of of President Park Geun-hye Demand Arrest
Angry protests erupted in South Korea’s capital of Seoul after the impeachment of the country’s President Park Geun-hye.
Protests came from two sides – opponents of Ms Park who are calling for her arrest – and her thousands of supporters saddened by the court ruling.
Park’s critics celebrated the ousting of Ms Park with fireworks at a rally in Seoul. But they wanted more, and they demanded the arrest of the ousted leader.
On the other side, the former president’s conservative supporters, most of them older South Koreans, marched the streets and called for protests. Park’s backers attacked the police with flagpoles. The clamor resulted in the death of two supporters as they tried to break through police lines outside the court.
Park Geun-hye, was the nation’s first female president and the daughter of the Cold War military dictator Park Chung-hee who seized power in 1961. The former general was prominent for his fight against North Korea’s nuclear provocations. He was assassinated, as was her mother.
The South Korean Constitutional Court impeached Park Geun-hye over her role in a corruption scandal.
The ousting made history as Park Geun-hye was the country’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.
The court ruling, which ruled that Ms. Park had “betrayed the trust of the people,” ended months of political unrest that tormented the country after an explosive corruption scandal involving Ms Park and her close friend, Choi Soon-sil.
The Corruption Scandal
The corruption scandal made headlines around the world when Ms Park was involved in a controversial friendship with Ms Choi.
Ms Park allegedly allowed Choi to have unacceptable access to official documents and meddle in state affairs.
The close friendship was allegedly abused by Ms Choi, using her presidential connections to bribe companies to give millions of dollars in donations to non-profit foundations she controlled.
In addition, Ms Park was accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group, the country’s largest conglomerate, for government favors.
Ms Park and Ms Choi denied all accusations.
The scandal pushed the Parliament to vote for the impeachment Ms Park in December and the Constitutional Court has since been deciding whether to uphold or overturn this.
The court ruling entails Ms Park leaving the office which is her official residence. Along with this ruling, Ms Park lost her presidential immunity and will likely face charges over allegations she colluded with Ms Choi.
Within the next 60 days, a presidential election will be held.