BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Korean parliament overwhelmingly passed a historic bill Friday to impeach scandal-scarred President Park Geun-hye as it gained the two-thirds majority vote.
The final tally was 234 votes cast in favor of impeachment, with 56 against and 2 abstentions. Seven votes were invalid. One legislator did not take part in the voting.
President Park will be stripped of all powers immediately after receiving the copied result on paper, waiting for the final decision by the Constitutional Court which may take as long as 180 days.
The permanent impeachment requires the court's two-thirds approval.
REASONS FOR IMPEACHMENT
Opposition and independent lawmakers on Saturday put forward a bill to impeach President Park Geun-hye.
The impeachment motion claims that Park gravely violated laws and the Constitution for nearly four years in office.
It says Park's breach of the Constitutional was grave enough to justify her removal from office.
The constitutional violations, according to the impeachment bill, include collusion with a longtime friend to extort money from companies and to give that confidante extraordinary sway over government decisions.
The reasons for impeachment also include Park's inaction during the deadly sinking of the Sewol ferry in 2014 that claimed more than 300 lives, mostly teenagers from a school. The opposition claims that the president breached her duty to protect the safety of the people aboard the ferry.
Park has publicly apologized three times and acknowledged that she received help from her confidante, Choi Sool-sil, in editing her speeches and with unspecified "public relations" matters. But she denies involvement in Choi's alleged criminal activities and inaction in the sinking of the Sewol ferry.
INFLUENCE ON S. KOREA'S POLITICS
After the impeachment, Park will be suspended from office immediately pending a final decision by the Constitutional Court, which has as long as 180 days to elaborate and rule on it.
During the period, Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is to become acting president and temporarily assume presidential power.
But as a Park loyalist, Hwang is not favored by the opposition and many citizens. If the National Assembly recommends a new prime minister, there will be an intense struggle between the ruling Saenuri Party and the opposition.