(Reuters) South Korean lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye over an influence-peddling scandal, setting the stage for her to become the country's first elected leader to be expelled from office in disgrace.
The impeachment motion was carried by a wider-than-expect 234-56 margin in a secret ballot in parliament, meaning more than 60 of Park's own conservative Saenuri Party members backed removing her. The votes of at least 200 members of the 300-seat chamber were needed for the motion to pass.
The Constitutional Court must now decide whether to uphold the impeachment, a process that could take up to 180 days.
"I solemnly accept the voice of the parliament and the people and sincerely hope this confusion is soundly resolved," Park said at a meeting with her cabinet, adding that she would comply with the court's proceedings as well as an investigation by a special prosecutor.
Park, whose approval rating stands at just 5 percent, has resisted demands that she step down immediately.