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The parliament of South Korea has voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye - photo by AP
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South Korea's parliament has voted 234 to 56 to impeach their president Park Geun-hye. President Park, who is the first female president of South Korea, has been embroiled in a major corruption scandal in recent weeks. 

At the source of the scandal is Park's relationship with her close advisor and spiritual guide, Choi Soon-sil, who is the leader of what many regard as a religious cult. 

Choi has been accused of using her relationship with Park to have powerful Korean corporations donate money to two of her foundations, and then stealing money from those foundations. Park has been accused of allowing Choi access to government decisions and of allowing Choi to manipulate her.

Park has been close to Choi since the 1970s. While Park Geun-hye's father, Park Chung-hee, was president of South Korea, Choi's father, also a cult-leader at the time, was his advisor. 

Since the scandal was made public, South Koreans have been protesting the streets of Seoul against Park, and in one night, the number of protestors reached nearly two million people. 

The South Korean parliament's decision means that Park is suspended and authority will pass to Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn. During her supension, the Constitutional Court will judge her case within 180 days. 

In 2004, South Korea impeached then-president Roh Moo-hyun, who was suspended for two months, but later reinstated by the Constitutional Court. 


Vocabulary
impeach - to officially accuse a country's leader of wrongdoing with the aim to remove him / her from political office
embroiled - involved in
religious cult - a religious group that has authoritarian (very strict) control over its members
to manipulate - to control and influence a person to follow the decision's of another person
foundation - an organization that people donate money to in order to help society
suspended - temporarily ordered to stop working at their position
reinstate - to bring back to his / her original position
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