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South Korea parliament votes for impeachment of President Park

The Constitutional Court must decide whether to uphold the motion now, a process that could take up to 180 days

SEOUL, December 9. /TASS/. South Korea’s lawmakers voted on Friday to impeach the country’s President Park Geun-hye.

A total of 234 MPs voted "yes," 56 voted "no," another 2 abstained and 8 votes were considered as invalid. All 300 MPs were present during the vote.

The South Korean opposition introduced a bill on Thursday to impeach the president. At least 200 votes of lawmakers of South Korea’s National Assembly were needed for impeachment to take place.

Park’s powers will be immediately suspended. The Constitutional Court has up to six months to decide whether to approve the results of the vote. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will temporarily fulfill the president’s duties. Early presidential elections will be held after the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

The president is accused of colluding with her close friend Choi Soon-sil, who is at the center of a high-profile corruption scandal.

On November 20, South Korea’s prosecutors charged Choi and two former officials of the presidential administration with corruption, extortion and abuse of powers. In particular, Choi was accused of forcing a number of companies to donate tens of millions of dollars to the foundations she controlled. Although this influence has not been proved, investigators believe the president was aware of these ‘donations.’