Court removes South Korean president from office over corruption scandal

The internal repercussions are also critical.

The allegations stem from a political scandal that has rocked South Korea since the fall and touches almost every power center in the country.

Prosecutors say the case for removing Park from office for her role in the corruption scandal could not have been clearer, but her lawyers have vowed to fight on, the Washington Post reports.

Curbing excessive presidential authority is a first step.

Park rose to power buoyed by voters’ memories of her father Park Chung-hee, a military dictator who led South Korea from 1963 until 1979. They, too, must be reformed.

According to a nationwide survey of 1,005 people by Gallup Korea this week, 32% of respondents preferred Moon as their next president, down from 34% a week ago.

A constitutional court has forced out South Korean President Park Geun-hye amid a government corruption scandal that has roiled the nation.

The court’s decision, which was unanimous, makes Park the first ever South Korean leader to be removed from office by impeachment.

Park supporters, gathered near Seoul’s Constitutional Court and reportedly numbering in the thousands, were hemmed by a ring of police officers and vehicles. Its de facto chief Lee Jae-yong is being detained on charges of having allegedly bribed Park’s confidante Choi in the form of donations to her makeshift nonprofit foundations. So have her supporters, who tend to be older, more conservative South Koreans.

Prime among charges against Park Geun-hye is her dubious connection to the country’s top conglomerate Samsung Group.

South Korea’s ruling and opposition parties both said they would accept the court’s decision ahead of its announcement on Friday in another sign of the country’s maturing political institutions.

The country will hold elections to select a new leader within two months.

Park, who has continuously denied any wrongdoing, now faces the prospect of a criminal prosecution, having been stripped of her presidential immunity – and her presidential pension.

The U.S. State Department said it would continue to work with the acting president and whoever becomes the next president.

Since she’s now no longer in power, prosecutors can summon, question and possibly arrest her.

Park’s removal would allow South Korean policy makers – including acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn – to focus more on a slowing economy, escalating tensions with North Korea and economic retaliation from China over the the Thaad missile-defense system.

Court to rule on South Korean president's fate; Koreans ready to move on after impeachment