Date
26 March 2017
South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye waves to supporters as she arrives at her private residence in Seoul on Sunday. Credit: Yonhap/Reuters
South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye waves to supporters as she arrives at her private residence in Seoul on Sunday. Credit: Yonhap/Reuters

South Korea’s Park leaves presidential palace after ouster

South Korea’s ousted leader Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, two days after a court upheld a parliament decision to impeach her over a corruption scandal.

Facing life as a private citizen and the possibility of jail, Park struck a defiant tone upon arriving at her private home in the Gangnam district in Seoul, Reuters reports.

“I feel sorry that I could not finish the mandate given to me as president,” a spokesman for Park, Min Kyung-wook, quoted her as saying.

“It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed,” Park said in her first public comments since her dismissal.

After leaving the Blue House in a motorcade of black cars, Park accepted responsibility for the events that culminated in the Constitutional Court’s ruling last Friday to uphold a parliamentary impeachment vote.

“I take responsibility for the outcome of all this,” Min quoted her as saying.

Park, 65, is South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office. A snap presidential election will be held by May 9.

Her dismissal followed months of political paralysis and turmoil over an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the political and business elite in the country.

Throngs of flag-waving supporters crowded the street outside Park’s home as she arrived there about 30 minutes after leaving the presidential palace.

Having lost presidential immunity, Park could face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring with her friend, Choi Soon-sil, Reuters noted.

Both women have denied wrongdoing.

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RC

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