On Friday morning, South Korea's Constitutional Court voted to remove President Park Geun-hye from office, upholding her impeachment by the legislature in December.
Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi read the unanimous ruling from the eight-member panel on national TV, saying Park committed "acts that violated the Constitution and laws" and that "betrayed the trust of the people and were of the kind that cannot be tolerated for the sake of protecting the Constitution." The judicial and legislative ouster, a first for South Korea, caps a scandal involving Park, her childhood friend Choi Soon-sil, and some of the country's biggest business executives.
Park, 65, not only lost the presidency but also her legal immunity, opening her to prosecution for bribery, extortion, and abuse of power. South Korea will hold new elections within 60 days, and the opposition Democratic Party is expected to take power for the first time in a decade. Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn will stay in office in the interim.