Seoul, March 8, 2017 (TNE): South Korea’s constitutional court said on Wednesday that it would make a final ruling on Friday on President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment.
According to the court’s spokesman, the ruling will be televised live.
Park was impeached by parliament in December and stripped of her powers pending the court’s ruling.
If the court upholds the impeachment, a presidential election will be held two months later.
Park is the daughter of a former South Korean dictator, who became the country’s first female president in late 2012.
The crisis, which was sparked in late October by Park’s relationship with Choi Soon-sil, a longtime friend, is by far the most serious of her presidency, which was supposed to run until February 2018.
The allegations were that Park abused her position to help Choi secure tens of millions of dollars of funding for her foundations from major South Korean companies.
Choi faces embezzlement charges while Park, who has been named as a formal suspect, has repeatedly apologised for her “naivety” but denied seeking any personal gain.
Her lawyer has denounced as groundless prosecutors’ allegations that she was “collusively involved” in Choi’s alleged activities.
Park first met Choi in the 1970s after the death of Park’s mother during an assassination attempt on her father, Park Chung-hee, who was then South Korea’s president.
Choi’s father, the leader of shady religious cult, emerged as Park’s mentor after Park Chung-hee was assassinated by his head of intelligence in 1979. (TNE)