South Korea’s Park Returns to Her Private Home 2 Days After Ouster
South Korea’s ousted former president Park Geun-hye has left the presidential Blue House, two days after the Constitutional Court issued a verdict removing her from office over a corruption scandal.
She headed Sunday to her private home in Seoul where hundreds of supporters have been protesting her ouster.
The Constitutional Court on Friday upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach Park, removing her from office over the scandal that involved her close friend.
However, she had remained in the Blue House as her private home, which has been vacant, had appliances and other supplies brought in.
Tens of thousands of Koreans who supported the ouster took to the streets over the weekend, cheering and waving flags, while another group of those who supported Park vowed to resist what they call “political assassination.”
Seoul police anticipated violence between the two groups, particularly after three protesters were killed in clashes since the decision was announced.
The stunning and sudden collapse of Park’s presidency was caused by allegations that a multimillion dollar influence-peddling scandal was being run out of the Blue House.
In December, 234 members of the 300-seat National Assembly voted to impeach Park.
The president’s image as a strong and incorruptible leader crumbled under allegations her longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, secretly exploited her close relationship with Park to force Korean conglomerates to donate some $65 million to two dubious foundations, while at the same time funneling some of the funds and lucrative side contracts to companies owned by herself and her friends.