Ex-South Korean president Park leaves presidential office for private home
SEOUL, March 12 (Xinhua) — Former South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Sunday left the presidential Blue House for her private home in southern Seoul two days after the constitutional court upheld her impeachment.
Park came out from the residence inside the Blue House at about 7 p.m. local time (1000 GMT). A queue of black sedans and vans, carrying the ousted leader and security guards, departed from the presidential office around 15 minutes later, TV footage showed.
Park arrived at her home in southern district of Seoul at 7:37 p.m.
Outside her home, hundreds of Park supporters gathered to cheer up the removed president.
The loyalists to Park waved national flags in their hands, shouting for invalid impeachment.
She smilingly waved her hand to the supporters and shook hands with some lawmakers of the Liberty Korea Party before entering her home.
Two days earlier, the constitutional court unanimously upheld the bill to impeach Park, which was passed by the parliament on Dec. 9.
Park became the first South Korean leader to be ousted through impeachment.
She was stripped of all executive power and lost the title as head of state immediately after the ruling.
Park was supposed to leave her office on Friday, but it was delayed as her home needed renovations.
The defamed ex-president left no message on her removal from office, according to local media reports. Before departing for her home, Park met with senior secretaries for the last greetings.
Without the impeachment, Park’s five-year term was supposed to end in February next year. She was sworn in as the country’s 18th leader in February 2013.
By law, a presidential election must be held within 60 days as the head of state is formally unseated. The election is highly likely to be set on May 9.
About 2,000 police officers were deployed near Park’s home to prevent possible violence.
Three people died and dozens were wounded in the pro-Park demonstration near the court building on Friday.
The Park loyalists held a rally in central Seoul Saturday, resisting the court’s decision. They said Park was innocent and the ruling was unconstitutional.
According to a survey released Saturday, 86 percent people believe the court’s ruling was right. Only 12 percent said it was not right, with 2 percent declining to reply.
A whopping 92 percent said people should accept the court’s decision. Those against the ruling took up just 6 percent of the total respondents.