Ruling on Pres. Park's impeachment coming on March 10
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Mar 10, 2017,
Mar 10, 2017, 0:41
At least six of the eight judges on the bench have to vote to uphold the impeachment.
The main opposition Democratic Party said in a statement that it will respect the ruling, whatever it is, but also that it expects the court to "make the logical decision supported by 80 per cent of the people", referring to public opinion polls that show a majority of respondents back Park's impeachment.
Park's lawyers say she was staying in her "residence cum office", receiving situation reports by phone and issuing directives on rescue operations. (STAND UP) In addition, Korea will be required to hold a presidential election within 60 days, if the motion is upheld by the Constitutional Court. She will have to vacate the presidential Blue House and perhaps return to her private residence in the upscale Gangnam district.
The Friday ruling means that eight of nine judges will be in place, as acting court president Lee Jung-mi's final day in her position is Monday.
Park allegedly forced several officials who did not co-operate with Choi - who is now on trial for abuse of power, coercion and fraud - to resign or change posts. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Thursday put its forces on high alert and deployed thousands of officers and hundreds of buses in the streets surrounding the court. If the court rules to remove Park, she will be stripped of her powers and lose her immunity from prosecution, making it possible for prosecutors to indict her on criminal charges. Such a decision will likely take the air out of the investigation into the scandal.
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Following a December 9 parliamentary vote to impeach her, Park has been suspended but conservative supporters have led increasingly prominent counter-protests. Park's term was originally set to end in February 2018.
The 65-year-old conservative president was elected in 2012 partly thanks to the popularity of her father and late army dictator, Park Chung-Hee.
After months of political wrangling, legal drama and historic protests, a decision on the fate of scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye is expected Friday.
Special prosecutors, who had investigated the corruption scandal embroiling President Park for 70 days, identified Park as an accomplice to her longtime confidante Choi Soon-sil for multiple charges including bribery.