South Korea to hold presidential election on May 9

The Supreme Prosecutors' Office of the Republic of Korea [official website] on Tuesday announced plans to question ousted president Park Geun-hye about her involvement in the corruption scandal that led to her removal as the nation's leader.

The constitutional court unanimously upheld the motion to impeach Park on Friday, about three months after the motion was passed in the parliament by an overwhelming majority.

The very ties to Park's father that brought her such stunning success enveloped her in the political polarization of South Korean society between elderly conservatives, who revered her father's record of achievement, and younger progressives, who despised her father's dictatorial excesses and human rights violations.

A presidential palace spokesman denied Park had neglected to take her dogs, telling Reuters that a reason for the dogs staying at the residence since her departure was so they not part with their home. "From now onwards, I would like to focus on the tremendous responsibility as the acting president".

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Park is accused of conspiring with Choi to receive bribes in return for supporting the 2015 merger of two affiliates of Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest family-controlled conglomerate.

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The turmoil comes at a time of rising tension with North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, and with China over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea that China sees as a threat to its security.

The Constitutional Court officially removed her from office last Friday.

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There are 13 charges filed against Park - eight by the state prosecution and five by the independent counsel - but both of them could not indict her due to presidential immunity. She vacated the role of president last week and South Koreans will elect a new president 9 May.

"She told.staff to take good care of the dogs and to find good foster homes for the puppies if necessary", said the spokesman. Park will be questioned as a suspect in an abuse of power and corruption scandal.

Her lawyers said in a statement they would cooperate.

"What we need in our society is open and respectful discussions of different opinions, and it should be conducted in accordance with law in a respectful and peaceful way".

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She returned to her private home in the Gangnam area of Seoul, the capital.

 
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