SEOUL, South Korea South Korea’s Parliament voted on Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye an aloof conservative who took a hard line against North Korea and rose to power with strong support from those who revered her father, the military dictator Park Chung-hee.
The vote against Ms. Park, the nation’s first female leader, followed weeks of damaging disclosures in a corruption scandal that has all but paralyzed the government and produced the largest street protests in the nation’s history. Her powers will now be suspended as the Constitutional Court considers whether to remove her from office.
Ms. Park has been accused of allowing a shadowy confidante, the daughter of a religious sect leader, to exercise remarkable influence on matters ranging from choosing top government officials to her wardrobe, and of helping her extort tens of millions of dollars from South Korean companies. The scandal, which gained national attention less than two months ago, has cast a harsh light on collusion between the presidency and big business in one of Asia’s most dynamic economies.
A total of 234 lawmakers voted for impeachment, well over the required two-thirds threshold in the 300-seat Parliament. The vote was by secret ballot, but the results indicated that nearly half of the 128 lawmakers in Ms. Park’s party, Saenuri, had joined the opposition in moving to oust her.