South Korea’s impeached Park not leaving presidential Blue House ‘for now’ – spokesman

Seoul, March 10, 2017 (TNE): Impeached South Korean leader Park Geun-hye will not leave the presidential Blue House residence on Friday, her spokesman said following a constitutional court verdict upholding a parliamentary motion to remove her from office.

“For now, Park is not leaving the Blue House today,” Blue House spokesman Kim Dong Jo said.

Park has a private residence in a neighbourhood called Samseong-dong, in the affluent Gangnam district of the capital, Seoul.

The spokesman said earlier she would be going there, when she leaves the Blue House.

“No plans have been made for her departure. Due to security reasons, she cannot go back to her house in Samseong-dong,” Kim said.

Park, 65, South Korea’s first female president, was impeached by the National Assembly in December on charges of colluding with her close friend Choi Soon Sil to extort money from top South Korean companies and of allowing her confidante to interfere with state affairs.

South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn took over her duties in the interim after her impeachment.

The court panel of eight judges reached the decision unanimously.

It paves the way for fresh elections within 60 days.

Many observers expect the polls to be held on May 9, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

After the ruling, the acting head of the panel, Judge Lee Jung Mi, said the panel hoped it would help end the “political chaos” that has engulfed the country.

Friday’s court decision means that Park has been stripped of her parliamentary immunity and can now be prosecuted in a criminal court.

She is the first South Korean head of state to be stripped of her duties by a court ruling.

She denied any wrongdoing.(TNE)

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