Seoul, December 09: South Korean lawmakers have approved an impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye, stripping her of sweeping executive powers over a corruption scandal that has rattled her administration.
The motion was passed in a secret balloting South Korea’s National Assembly during a Friday session by 234 votes to 56, easily winning the required two-thirds majority in the 300-seat parliament.
“I declare that the bill to impeach President Park Geun-Hye has just been approved,” said speaker Chung Se-Kyun.
“Whether you support or oppose it, all lawmakers and South Korean people who are watching this grave situation unfold must feel so miserable and heavy at heart,” he added.
It was widely anticipated that the parliament would vote in favor of the impeachment measure with support from some members of Park’s conservative Saenuri Party.
It is now up to the Constitutional Court to decide whether to uphold the motion, a process that may take as long as 180 days.
During the period, Park will be suspended as president but not removed, with her duties temporarily transferred to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn until the court reaches a decision on the legal legitimacy of her impeachment.