August 20, 2018

South Korea’s Park leaves presidential palace after impeachment

jgOusted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye has now left the presidential palace, two days after judges upheld parliament’s decision to impeach her.

Ms Park arrived at her home in southern Seoul amid waving supporters.

She has been impeached over her role in a corruption scandal involving close friend, Choi Soon-sil.

In her first words since Friday’s ruling, Ms Park said in a statement: “Although it will take time, I believe the truth will certainly come out.”

She also apologised to her supporters for “failing to fulfil my duty as president”.

Ms Park has now lost her immunity and could face criminal proceedings over accusations she allowed Ms Choi to extort money from companies in return for political favours.

Ms Park left the presidential complex, the so-called Blue House, shortly after 19:00 local time (10:00 GMT) on Sunday after saying goodbye to her staff.

A huge motorcade carried her to her home in the Samseong district.

Park Geun-hye was ferried to her private residence in Seoul in a black limousine, chased by a posse of journalists on motorbikes. When she arrived, she waved to cheering supporters, smiling broadly, and shook hands with political allies.

She may yet face prosecution and a trial in an ordinary criminal court. Her demise has split the country, with her increasingly vocal supporters saying she is a victim of a political decision.

Her demeanour outside her new residence was upbeat and full of smiles. It was not the demeanour of a disgraced, regretful politician.

Ms Park emerged from her limousine amid a police presence of about 1,000 officers and her security detail had to push back the crowds.

Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is loyal to Ms Park, is now the acting president.

 

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