The bill to impeach President Park Geun Hye has been passed.
The bill was first tabled by the three opposition parties on December 3, and voting took place during the December 9 plenary session. Out of the 300 enrolled members of the National Assembly, 299 voted, and the bill was passed with 234 votes for impeachment, 56 votes against, seven invalid votes, and two votes to abstain. In accordance with Article 65, Clause 2 of the Korean Constitution, the impeachment bill needed two-thirds (200) of the 300 available votes to pass.
Voting took place at 3:20 p.m. by secret ballot in accordance with the National Assembly Law. Congressmen Lee Woo Hyun, Seo Cheong Won, and Jung Gap Yoon of the Saenuri Party participated in the vote, though they were late to the plenary session. Pro-Park congressmen Choi Kyung Hwan, Jo Won Jin, and Hong Mun Jong were seen leaving the room but returned later. Congressman Choi Kyung Hwan was the only person to not cast a vote.
The moment she receives a copy of the National Assembly’s impeachment bill, President Park Geun Hye must immediately forfeit her authority as the head of the state and the executive branch as outlined by the Constitution. Prime minister Hwang Kyo Ahn will take her place as the acting president. Once they receive the official copy of the bill, the Constitutional Court will begin their adjudication of the impeachment process. A verdict must be passed within six months (180 days), meaning that President Park Geun Hye’s suspension will last until June 6, 2017 at the latest.