South Korea's ousted leader Park Geun-hye greets her supporters as she arrives at her private home in Seoul, South Korea, March 12, 2017. Photo by Reuters
South Korea's ousted former president Park Geun-hye apologized Sunday to her supporters for “failing to fulfill my duty as president.” Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House two days after the Constitutional Court issued a verdict removing her from office over a corruption scandal.
She arrived Sunday to her private home in Seoul where hundreds of supporters have been protesting her ouster.
Park did not speak to reporters but a spokesperson read a statement where Park reaffirmed her innocence and said “Although it will take time, I believe the truth will certainly come out” while expressing gratitude for those who supported her.
The Constitutional Court on Friday upheld a parliamentary vote to impeach and remove her from office over allegations that a multimillion dollar influence-peddling scandal was being run out of the Blue House.
The court’s ruling also removed Park’s presidential immunity to criminal indictment.
Live footage showed Park smiling and speaking briefly with supporters and members of her political party before going inside her current private home.
In December, 234 members of the 300-seat National Assembly voted to impeach Park.
The president’s image as a strong and incorruptible leader crumbled under allegations her longtime friend, Choi Soon-sil, secretly exploited her close relationship with Park to force Korean conglomerates to donate some $65 million to two dubious foundations, while at the same time funneling some of the funds and lucrative side contracts to companies owned by herself and her friends.
A new presidential election must be held 60-days after the court’s ruling. Local media reports that it might take place on May 9.
Reports say former Democratic Party leader Moon Jae-In has 36 percent of popular support and might become South Korean new leader.
On Sunday, Moon told reporters the power of weekly candlelight "brought us this farm we now have to work together for a complete victory. ... South Korea will make new history through a regime change."