South Korea president Park Geun-hye ousted over corruption scandal
Mar 11 2017 by Lorena Waters
With the ruling, Park becomes South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.
The ruling to uphold the vote on December 9 past year to impeach her marks a dramatic fall from grace for South Korea's first female president and the eldest daughter of former South Korean president Park Chung-hee.
If the impeachment is upheld, as many analysts predict, the decision would immediately end what has been Park's controversial four-year tenure leading South Korea - a country of 50 million and Asia's fourth-largest economy. All have denied wrongdoing. This means she could now face criminal charges, including abuse of power, coercion of donations and the sharing of state secrets. So far she has avoided talking to authorities, a fact that could change if they were to seek an arrest warrant. Park has repeatedly refused to be interviewed by prosecutors over the scandal in recent months, but that will be harder to do if prosecutors have an arrest warrant. Check back for updates.
South Korea now has two months to hold snap elections.
Of the charges brought against the former President, the court acknowledged the illegality of Park's actions in letting her close friend and confidant Choi Soon-sil meddle in state affairs.
Three people died and dozens were injured in clashes between police and Ms Park's supporters after the ruling on Friday, according to officers, who detained seven protesters for questioning.
Hwang addressed the nation in a nationally televised speech, after the court's unanimous decision to oust Park. An Hee-jung, Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo of the People's Party, acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn and liberal Seongnam Mayor Lee Jae-myung.
The South Korean police is now bracing for more violence between opponents and supporters of Park.
Both pro and anti-Park contingents took to the streets to hear the ruling - the latter responded to the announcement with applause and tears of joy, according to CNN. But that may no longer be an option once she leaves the Blue House. She then led the nation's conservative political party, Saenuri, narrowly lost a presidential bid in 2007 and later emerged victorious in the race in 2012.
6 March: The special prosecutor says Ms Park colluded with Ms Choi to take bribes from the Samsung Group, paving the way for her to be prosecuted if she is ousted from office. Instead, her lawyers read a statement: "I feel crushed by all these misunderstandings and allegations", Park said.