The South Korea president was impeached by a vote of the country’s parliament on Friday.
It could take up to 180 days for the country’s constitutional court to deliberate the motion against President Park Geun-hye, who has faced a corruption scandal over access to confidential government documents by Park’s confidant and adviser Choi Soon-sil, CNN reported.
Choi has been charged with abuse of power, fraud and coercion related to millions of dollars in donations to her foundation, and two of Park’s former aides also face criminal charges, the network said.
Park issued an apology following the vote, saying she caused a “big national chaos.”
“I solemnly accept the voices of the National Assembly and the people and sincerely hope that the current confusion will come to an end in an orderly manner,” Park said, per CNN. “… I will respond to the impeachment judgement of the constitutional court and the investigation of the special prosecutors, following the procedures set by the constitution and the law with (a) calm mindset and then will accept its decision.”
The presidential Blue House has made Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn the acting president, in the meantime, CBS News noted.
If Park is removed from office with six of nine justices supporting the impeachment, then the country would have to hold a presidential election before 60 days pass.
National Assembly speaker Chung Sye-kyun said the impeachment passed by a vote of 236 to 56 votes, including nine abstentions, CBS News noted.
The vote comes after weeks of protests, some of the largest protests in history, according to The New York Times.
The protests erupted after Park was accused of allowing a confidante to make important decisions regarding choosing government officials and extorting millions of dollars from South Korean companies, the Times noted.
The scandal shook up the relationship between the political and corporate sectors.
After the vote to impeach Park was announced, thousands of people could be seen outside the Parliament building celebrating as they “danced, cheered and blew on horns.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.