Impeached S.Korean President to ‘gravely’ accept decision

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Seoul, Dec 9 (IANS) Impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday said she was “gravely accepting” the decision after the vote on her impeachment motion was passed in the National Assembly with overwhelming support.

“I’m gravely accepting parliamentary and public voices, and wish the current turmoil comes to a stable end,” Xinhua news agency quoted Park as saying at a meeting with cabinet members in the presidential office after the impeachment bill obtained the two-thirds majority vote.

Park apologised to people for causing national turmoil because of her lack of virtue and carelessness at a time when the country’s security and economy are in trouble.

The 300-member assembly passed the bill, proposed last Saturday by the opposition bloc, with 234 legislators voting for, 56 opposing.

Seven votes were invalid, and two abstained. One lawmaker refused to take part in the voting which was broadcast live on TV.

Park will be stripped of all powers immediately after receiving a paper copy of the result.

The country’s constitutional court will now deliberate the motion, a process that could take up to 180 days.

However, it is unclear whether Park will resign after the vote, or if she will wait for the court to rule.

The first South Korean female leader became the country’s second President impeached by the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is to become acting President, temporarily assuming presidential power while the Constitutional Court weighs the case.

The number of votes in favour indicates that over 20 pro-Park faction members cast secret ballots in favour of the President’s impeachment. Among Saenuri lawmakers, 62 members voted for it, with 56 against.

The impeachment is only the country’s second. In 2004, late President Roh Moo-hyun was also forced out of office for two months. The Constitutional Court later restored Roh to power, rejecting charges of abuse of power and mismanagement.

–IANS

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