South Korea’s Constitutional Court has reached a verdict over the scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye. The delivery of the guilty verdict means a snap election will be called in the next 60 days, and makes Park the first democratically-elected leader in South Korea to be impeached and removed from power.
Park had already been impeached by the country’s parliament and temporarily removed from power after reports surfaced that she was influenced by a friend of hers, Choi Soon-sil, giving her access to confidential information, and manipulating her position of power to get Choi’s daughter into a prestigious school.
Choi, daughter of a shaman, first met Park when Park’s father, himself a dictatorial South Korean president, was still in office, shortly after Park’s mother was assassinated.
The scandal has also implicated the heads of powerful corporations such as Samsung Electronics, who bribed her to support a business acquisition.
Park repeatedly claimed innocence throughout the process, even as hundreds of thousands of South Koreans took to the streets in protest, and her approval rating sank to the low single digits.
Now stripped of political immunity, a criminal investigation into Park’s dealings may be ordered.