Ex-South Korean President Park Leaves Presidential Office for Private Home
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Disgraced South Korean leader Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, two days after a court dismissed her over a corruption scandal, bound for her private home and facing the possibility of prosecution and jail.
Park left the compound in a motorcade of fast-driving black cars, flanked by police motorbikes, after bidding farewell to staff, an official said. She was heading for her home in the Gangnam district of the capital, Seoul, where hundreds of flag-waving supporters waited.
"President Park Geun-hye has just now departed the Blue House and headed for her private home," a Blue House official said by text message, the Independent reported.
The Constitutional Court ruled on Friday to uphold a parliamentary vote to impeach Park, dismissing her from office over an influence-peddling scandal that has shaken the country's political and business elite.
A snap presidential election will be held by 9 May.
Park, 65, is South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be forced from office.
Her dismissal followed months of political paralysis and turmoil over the graft scandal that also landed the head of the Samsung conglomerate in jail and facing trial.
The crisis has coincided with rising tension with North Korea and anger from China over the deployment in South Korea of a US missile-defense system.
Park did not appear in court on Friday and she has not made any comment since. She remained in the Blue House, prompting some grumbling from critics keen to see her stripped of the privileges of power.
Her dismissal marked a dramatic fall from grace of South Korea's first woman president and daughter of Cold War military dictator Park Chung-hee.
It was not the first time she has had to leave the Blue House compound of traditional-style buildings at the foot of a hill in central Seoul.
In 1979, after a nine-day funeral following the assassination of her father, the young Park left the Blue House with her siblings for a family home. She had been acting first lady after her mother was shot and killed in an earlier failed assassination attempt on her father.
Now, having lost presidential immunity, she could face criminal charges over bribery, extortion and abuse of power in connection with allegations of conspiring with her friend, Choi Soon-sil.
Both women denied wrongdoing.