I was wrong yet again.
From the English Chosun Ilbo:
The Constitutional Court in a unanimous decision announced Friday morning upheld the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, who was immediately stripped of office.
Park, the country's first democratically elected leader to be forced out of office, must presently leave Cheong Wa Dae, where she has been holed up since the National Assembly voted to impeach her in December.
In a ruling read out live on TV as both supporters and opponents massed around the court, the court said the president "seriously impaired the spirit of... democracy and the rule of law."
Acting chief justice Lee Jung-mi said Park's actions "betrayed the public's trust in the president and constitute unforgivable violations of the Constitution."
The court accepted that Park conspired with her longtime crony Choi Soon-sil to extort vast sums of money from conglomerates and allowed Choi to meddle in government business.
Worse, she promised to cooperate sincerely in the investigation but not only failed to live up to her words but "concealed completely Choi's meddling in state affairs and denied it whenever suspicions over the act emerged and even criticized those who raised the suspicions."
The court dismissed one ground in the National Assembly's impeachment bill, saying Park's unexplained seven-hour absence during the 2014 ferry tragedy that killed over 300 people, "cannot be seen as violating her duty to protect people's life" as the scope of a president's duties in the matter is "too abstract" to determine.
The ruling finally brings down the curtain on a standoff that has plunged the country into chaos since the scandal broke in October last year. Koreans must now go to the polls within 60 days to elect a new president while Park faces criminal prosecution like any ordinary citizen.
Wow. So Park gambled and lost, and now she's losing the one thing she wanted to keep: the Blue House. Dishonored, disgraced, she doesn't leave office so much as get kicked out of office. There's no way to spin this positively...although I'm sure that Park and her flunkies will try in the years to come.
Incredible. As of this morning's vote, Park Geun-hye is no longer president of South Korea. I think this means there'll be a snap election to install a president pro tempore (the current prime minister, Hwang Kyo-ahn, is at the wheel for the moment) who will then serve until next January or February. In the meantime, there will also be the regular election for the president whose term will begin in February of 2018.
The throng of protestors who have been taking to the streets for months must be ecstatic. Tons of semen must be flying higher than Seoul Tower, then raining down on the populace, spattering babies and grandmothers and homeless people alike with joy.
Savor this moment, Korea.
UPDATE: this is currently front-page news in France and the US. (Amusingly, the French article's headline says it's Park Chung-hee, not Park Geun-hye, who has been ousted. Click now and have a chuckle before that gets corrected!)
ADDENDUM: an election must now occur within 60 days. Very likely, a leftist candidate with a friendlier stance toward North Korea will be elected, but since this person will merely be pro tem, the country will still have a chance to do the right thing when the big election (for the 2018-23 term) comes to pass.
ADDENDUM 2: I've got people insisting that the upcoming election will be for a president serving out both the remainder of Park's term and an entire new term. Maybe this is true; maybe it isn't. I want sources, people. Evidence.