South Korea's Park Geun-hye ousted from presidency, triggering vote

Elections must be held within two months and come at a time of extreme uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula, following the latest nuclear tests in North Korea.

Following is a timeline of main developments in the scandal and events in her life and political career. Park became acting first lady.

1998: Park returns to political life after years of seclusion.

The Yonhap News Agency reports that the removal of Park will trigger an emergency presidential election.

The ruling means that Park must immediately leave her palatial Blue House residence in Seoul, where she had plotted her defence since lawmakers impeached her in December, stripping her of power.

Subsequent to the verdict, an official with South Korea's unification ministry was quoted as saying: "Despite the decision, the ministry plans to unwaveringly seek the country's policy on North Korea and unification". More than 300 people, majority high school students, died when the ferry sank. The toll is attributed to the Park government's failure to act quickly. A months-long investigation into corruption allegations involving Park and her friend Choi Soon-sil has led to about 40 indictments of officials and corporate executives.

Choi is now in custody for meddling in state affairs behind the scenes and peddling undue influence for personal gains. Its de facto chief Lee Jae-yong is being detained on charges of having allegedly bribed Park's confidante Choi in the form of donations to her makeshift nonprofit foundations.

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Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has played down any notion of a falling-out with star forward Alexis Sánchez. I explained after the game at Liverpool that I chose to go for a more direct option in the game.

29 Nov, 2016: In her third televised apology, Ms Park asks Parliament to decide how and when she can give up power over the scandal.

Vast majority of South Koreans back president's impeachment.

The court's decision capped a stunning fall for the country's first female leader.

"In order to stop internal conflicts from intensifying, we should manage the social order and keep a stable government, so that national anxiety and the global society's concern can be settled", said Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.

Ms Park's lawyer, Seo Seok-gu, who had previously compared her impeachment to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, called the verdict a "tragic decision" made under popular pressure and questioned the fairness of what he called a "kangaroo court".

Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee has been accused of bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal and is in detention.

  • Regina Walsh