Park Stripped of Powers After Impeachment Vote

  • By Jeong Si-haeng, Jung Nok-yong

    December 12, 2016 12:57

    President Park Geun-hye speaks at a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on Friday after the passage of a bill to impeach her.

    President Park Geun-hye was holed up in her official residence on Sunday after the National Assembly voted to impeach her over a massive corruption scandal.

    Park was immediately stripped of her powers after Friday's vote and is expected to hunker down in the shelter of her official immunity until the Constitutional Court rules on the impeachment bill.

    In a Cabinet meeting after the vote, Park was quoted as saying she would respond "calmly" to the Constitutional Court's decision and an ongoing investigation by an independent counsel -- a clear hint that she is refusing to resign earlier.

    Aides said the president was "resting and reading."

    Park is putting together a legal team to argue her case in the Constitutional Court. Cheong Wa Dae officials were shocked by the huge margin with which the impeachment bill passed but still seem to be hoping for a shift in public sentiment as the court’s deliberations drag on.

    The court has asked Park to submit a written defense by Friday.

    Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn (second from left) presides over a Cabinet meeting at the government complex in Seoul on Friday. /Yonhap

    Staff are expected to keep briefing Park on government business even though she can no longer do anything about it, but state secrets will be kept from her.

    She will keep collecting her salary and be entitled to round-the-clock protection. All trips outside Cheong Wa Dae will be of a purely private nature, though she can still use the presidential airplane and limousine. But observers do not expect her to leave the premises.

    More than 60 ruling-party lawmakers voted with the opposition to pass the impeachment bill.

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