Park Geun-hye has been removed from office. It is the first time in Korean history under the constitution that a sitting president is impeached and removed from office.
At 11 a.m. on the 10th, during the adjudication on impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, All 8 judges of the Constitutional Court have voted in favor of Park’s impeachment.
Judge Lee Jung-mi, the chief judge, ended the process by saying “We are removing President Park Geun-hye from office” after reading the written document for about 22 minutes.
The exact time that Park’s impeachment was announced is 11:22 a.m. on March 10, 2017. The verdict gets effective as soon as the document is read.
Therefore, Park Geun-hye’s presidency has been officially taken away. Park had 350 days remaining of her term of office. In other words, she has been impeached exactly 1474 days after her presidential inauguration, which was on February 25, 2013.
Park Geun-hye also lost her presidential privilege against prosecution, which has been protecting her from being prosecuted.
Before making the final announcement of decision, Judge Lee Jung-mi first explained the reasons for Park’s impeachment: 1. Abuse of the power to appoint and to dismiss government officials 2. Infringement on freedom of the press 3. Violation against life protection obligation related to the case of Sewol Ferry 4. Permission of Choi Soon-sil’s intervention in government administration and abuse of power
Among these reasons, the Constitutional Court has concluded the first 3 reasons are considered insufficient reasons for impeachment. However, the Constitutional Court acknowledged Park Geun-hye’s lack of responsibility related to Choi Soon-sil, saying that “the acts were continuously committed during Park’s term of presidency”.
Judge Lee concluded and said, “considering President Park Geun-hye’s series of actions, there seemed to be no willingness to stop violating illegal actions. Such behavior should be considered as a serious violation against the law because she betrayed the nation’s trust”.
Original article available at http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=5076837
by Jung Goo-hyun
Translated by Audrey Joung