A third protester died in South Korea after supporters of the ousted President Park Geun-hye clashed with police on Friday, following the Constitutional Court's ruling of formally removing Park from her position.
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The South Korean police is now bracing for more violence between opponents and supporters of Park. The impeached president was stripped of her powers because of a corruption scandal which plunged the country into a political turmoil. Friday's clashes also resulted in dozens being injured as the police detained at least seven protesters for probing.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency is reportedly planning to deploy almost 20,000 officers and hundreds of buses to separate the two crowds, whose rallies have divided the streets near the presidential palace.
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An impeachment vote was held last December where the parliament went heavily against Park, including members of her own party who voted against her in a National Assembly motion. There have been massive protests against Park, with thousands taking to the streets demanding her ouster. Her relationship with close friend Choi Soon-sil reportedly led to the latter's increase in influence and financial benefits.
Friday's ruling by an eight-member panel now opens her up to possible criminal proceedings. Park, who is the country's first female leader, has also become South Korea's first democratically elected leader to be removed from office ever since democracy was introduced in the country in the late 1980s.
Acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi said Park's "acts of violating the constitution and law are a betrayal of the public trust. The benefits of protecting the constitution that can be earned by dismissing the defendant are overwhelmingly big. Hereupon, in a unanimous decision by the court panel, we issue a verdict: We dismiss the defendant, President Park Geun-hye", the Associated Press reported.
Park has not yet made an official statement following the top court's ruling. Her office said that she has not yet vacated the presidential Blue House, as her aides are preparing for her return to her private house in southern Seoul.