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South Korea’s President Faces Impeachment

South Korea’s President Faces Impeachment

The National Assembly of South Korea voted decisively on Friday 9 December to impeach President Park Geun-hye. The decision follows months of inquiries into claims that she conspired with friend, Choi Soon-sil to extort tens of millions from the country’s biggest companies. The next day, thousands of protesters gathered in Seoul and demanded Ms. Park’s resignation. Ms. Park was not always so unpopular in South Korea. At the start of her term in 2012, the daughter of former president Park Chung-hee beat Moon Jae-in, and became the country’s first female leader, marking a notable achievement in gender equality.

Lee Joon-han, professor of politics at Incheon National University said, “[s]he has achieved nothing. The economy has deteriorated. Our culture is not thriving as it used to. Civic liberties and press freedoms have declined as she cracked down on dissent.” The final ruling on whether President Park will be permanently removed will be decided in the Constitutional Court of Korea within 180 days. Until then, she remains powerless.

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