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South Korea to hold presidential election on May 9

March 15, 10:00 UTC+3 TOKYO

In December last year, South Korea’s parliament voted to impeach scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye

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© EPA/JEON HEON-KYUN

TOKYO, March 15. /TASS/. South Korea’s government has decided to hold early presidential election on May 9 to replace the impeached leader, the Kyodo news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s Interior Minister Hong Yun Sik.

In December last year, South Korea’s parliament voted to impeach scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye and this decision was approved by the Constitutional Court on March 10. Park was dismissed from office and lost immunity from criminal prosecution.

The scandal around the country’s first female president flared up in October 2016 when mass media reports claimed that Park had been under the influence of her close friend Choi Soon-sil. The investigation showed that over the past several years Choi had been meddling in state affairs.

Choi is also accused of exerting pressure on some companies, including electronics giant Samsung, and forcing them to donate tens of millions of dollars to the foundations she controlled. South Korea’s opposition said Park had been involved in these corruption schemes or at least had been aware of them.

Earlier reports said South Korea’s prosecutors will interrogate Park on March 21 as a suspect in connection with the investigation into the high-profile corruption scandal involving the country’s leadership.

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