South Korea's electoral body voiced concern on Saturday over heightened tensions between supporters and opponents of ousted president Park Geun-hye, a day after violent police clashes left three people dead and dozens wounded. According to an aide who spoke to reporters outside the court, Park is planning on staying at the presidential residence known as the Blue House on Friday despite her removal from office, but wouldn't be issuing a statement. Her political career has notched a pair of firsts: She was the country's first female leader, and is now also the first democratically-elected leader of South Korea to be removed from office.
Eight justices of the Constitutional Court voted unanimously to impeach the president for committing acts that violated the Constitution during her time in office. He followed months of political paralysis and turmoil over a corruption scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in jail and facing trial. The upheaval comes days after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles and as the Trump administration began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea. Election of someone with such views would be good for South Korea, Beijing and the region.
Park's lawyer, Seo Seok-gu, who had previously compared Park's impeachment to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, called the verdict a "tragic decision" made under popular pressure and questioned the fairness of what he called a "kangaroo court". "It's historic because it tells us that the people have power superior to the president - the most powerful person in the country".
You might have heard a thing or two about Park, South Korea's now former president. Nostalgia for her father's conservative rule led her a sweeping electoral victory in 2012.More news: NFL Scouting Combine: Whose Rising, Falling and Other Early Observations, Pt. 2
The ruling sparked protests from hundreds of her supporters. But the corruption case is far from over.
She was impeached by parliament on December 9. She could be interrogated by prosecutors seeking to indict her on criminal charges. Now that she's no longer immune from prosecution, they can make a stronger push for indictment.
Prosecutors say he sought a particularly South Korean favour in return: approval for a 2015 merger that cemented his family's hold over the sprawling Samsung Group.
With an earlier-than-planned presidential election due to take place within the next 60 days - May 9 is deemed a plausible date - support ratings for potential presidential candidates are now topped by Moon Jae-in, former chairman of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea.