South Korean lawmakers on Friday passed an impeachment motion against President Park Geun-hye, stripping away her sweeping executive powers over a corruption scandal that paralysed her administration and triggered massive street protests.

The National Assembly ballot transfers Park’s authority to the prime minister, pending a decision by the Constitutional Court on whether to ratify the decision and permanently remove the president from office.

A ruling could take up to six months, during which time Park will remain in the presidential Blue House while the country faces a period of political uncertainty and policy paralysis

The motion was adopted by 234 votes to 56, easily securing the required two-thirds majority in the 300-seat chamber.

“I declare that the bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye has just been approved,” announced speaker Chung Se-kyun. “Whether you support or oppose it, all lawmakers and South Korean people who are watching this grave situation unfold must feel so miserable and heavy at heart. I deeply wish that such tragedy in our constitutional history will not be repeated ever again.”

The anonymous paper ballot was conducted against the background din of hundreds of slogan-chanting protesters outside the assembly building, screaming “Impeach Park.”.. see more

source: scmp