SEOUL – South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye on Friday, removing her from office over a graft scandal involving big business that has gripped the country for months.
Park, 65, was accused of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, and a former presidential aide, both of whom have been on trial, to pressure big businesses to donate to two foundations set up to back her policy initiatives.
She was also accused of soliciting bribes from the head of the Samsung Group for government favors, including backing a merger of two Samsung affiliates in 2015 that was seen as supporting the succession of control over the country’s largest “chaebol” conglomerate.
Park has denied any wrongdoing.
Park was stripped of her powers after parliament voted to impeach her but has remained in the president’s official compound, the Blue House.
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn was appointed acting president and will remain in that post until the election.