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Korean lawmakers vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye Updated: 2016-12-09 16:51:38 KST

A historic decision has been made today at the National Assembly.
Parliament has passed a motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye just a couple of hours ago.
We start things of by connecting to our National Assembly correspondent Park Ji-won is standing by.
Ji-won, tell us more.

Daniel.
This was a truly historic moment, though I should note that the result was not unexpected.
The general outlook here at the assembly right before the vote was that the opposition had secured at least 200 votes, the minimum number of votes necessary for the motion's passage.
The motion passed with 234 lawmakers in the 300-seat assembly cast in favor of impeachment, while 56 lawmakers voted against it.
The rest of the votes were either invalidated or represent lawmakers who abstained.
As the vote was conducted by secret ballot, we are not sure about the exact number of "yes" votes from each party, but if we assume that all opposition and independent lawmakers voted in favor of impeachment, it means over 60 ruling party lawmakers are estimated to have voted for the motion.
The result is a huge relief for the opposition, as the two opposition parties had said that ALL of their lawmakers would resign immediately, if the impeachment motion failed.
This action showed how desperate the opposition was for the motion to pass.
According to the latest Gallup poll, released Friday, over 80 percent of the public supports impeachment, so the opposition bloc was very much aiming to win the public's approval and get the motion passed.

So Jiwon, what happens next?

Well, Daniel.
With the passage of the impeachment motion, Park Geun-hye's presidential power will be suspended immediately and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will now serve as acting president.
The assembly's judiciary committee chair will now formally notify the Constitutional Court of the result and the court will have up to 180 days to uphold or overturn the motion.
If six or more of the court's nine justices rule in favor of it, President Park will be formally expelled from her post and a new presidential election will be held within 60 days.
But if they overturn the motion, then Park Geun-hye would regain all of her power as president.
What is sure for now is that the opposition bloc is expected to continue to pressure President Park to resign, even as the Constitutional Court works to review the case over the next six months.
That's all I have for now, but I'll have more in a later newscast.
Back to you, Daniel.
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