News ID: 189428
Published: 0654 GMT March 15, 2017

South Korea to hold election May 9; prosecutors summon ousted Park

South Korea to hold election May 9; prosecutors summon ousted Park

South Korea said on Wednesday it will hold an election on May 9 to choose a successor for former president Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in a historic court ruling last week over a widening corruption scandal.

Prosecutors said on Wednesday Park – the first democratically elected president to be removed from office in South Korea – would be summoned for questioning on Tuesday into the influence-peddling scandal, Reuters reported.

The Constitutional Court dismissed Park from office on Friday when it upheld a parliamentary impeachment vote in December.

Park has denied any wrongdoing. Her lawyers said in a statement they would cooperate.

After she left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, she issued a statement hinting of defiance, saying: "It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed."

A special prosecution team had accused Park of colluding with a friend, Choi Soon-sil, to pressure big businesses into contributing to foundations set up to support her policies and allowing Choi to influence state affairs.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has been acting president since the impeachment vote, said he would not run in the election.

Minister of the Interior Hong Yun-sik promised the vote would be the most clean and transparent ever.

"This election is unprecedented in our history," Hong told a briefing, referring to the short campaign period.

Hwang had emerged in opinion polls as a top conservative candidate even though he had not declared an intention to run.

The scandal has undermined support for the ruling conservatives, and Hwang's decision would appear to bolster the chances of a prominent liberal, Moon Jae-in, who is leading in opinion polls.



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