South Korea’s Constitutional Court has upheld a decision by the country’s parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye, removing her from office over a graft scandal.
Following a unanimous vote by eight judges, the top court ruled Friday that the impeachment of Park, South Korea’s first female president, was valid and that she must quit her post.
“We remove Park Geun-hye from office,” Reuters quoted Lee Jung-mi, acting president of the court, as saying.
“Her actions betrayed the people’s confidence. They are a grave violation of law which cannot be tolerated.”
With the ruling, Park becomes South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.
A presidential election will be held in 60 days, according to the constitution.
The ruling came after the National Assembly passed a motion on Dec. 9 to impeach Park over an influence-peddling scandal that involved big business.
Park, 65, was accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, both of whom have been on trial, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.
She was also accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favors, including backing a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015.
Park has denied any wrongdoing.
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