Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

South Korea president Park Geun-hye ousted by court

South Korea president Park Geun-hye ousted by court

The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) urged Park to declare that she will accept whatever outcome for the sake of national unity, reflecting political opinion outside of the conservative ruling camp. Lee's trial for bribery and embezzlement began on Thursday, in a court case being billed as the trial of the century.

Park, a daughter of former South Korean President Park Chung-hee, was the first woman elected as the country's president, her tenure started in February 2013. Her removal from office also opens up the possibility of criminal charges being laid, says ABC News. It follows months of peaceful protests that drew millions of people into the streets, as well as the legislative impeachment vote in December that suspended Park's presidential powers.

A new leader must now be elected within 60 days.

March 10: Constitutional Court upholds parliament's vote to impeach Park, removing her from office. "The Constitution is a value everyone including the president must uphold and respect", she said.

"The respondent, President Park Geun-hye, is expelled", Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi said. Hereupon, in a unanimous decision by the court panel, we issue a verdict: "We dismiss the defendant, President Park Geun-hye".

The front runner for president is Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party, who represents a hopeful break from eight years of conservative rule that has brought tensions in northeast Asia to a risky level.

Feb 25, 2013: Park is sworn in as the first female president of South Korea, promising an era of hope.

25 Oct, 2016: Ms Park makes her first public apology for giving Ms Choi access to draft speeches during the first months of her presidency.

She is also said to have obliged local firms to "donate" almost $70 million to non-profit foundations Choi then allegedly used for personal gain. In a letter to the court, she apologized for her "carelessness" but said she never sought personal gain.

Police and hospital officials said about 30 protesters and police officers were injured in the violent clashes near the court - including pro-Park demonstrators pictured below - which prompted Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the country's acting head of state, to plead for peace and urge Park's angry supporters to move on.

Jan 1, 2017: Park denies wrongdoing, calling accusations "fabrication and falsehood".

Choi is accused of using her presidential ties to force local firms to "donate" almost $70 million to non-profit foundations she then allegedly used for personal gain.

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