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Politics

David S. Lee: South Korea faces vacuum with Park Geun-hye's ouster

An election to replace the ex-president lies ahead, but which way the country will go is anyone's guess

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The headline of a March 10 paper reads, "Expulsion of Park Geun-hye, People's victory." A leadership vacuum and resulting uncertain might continue even beyond a new president's inauguration in May.   © Reuters

The South Korean Constitutional Court's unanimous decision to uphold the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye was historic. Yet the high-stakes political drama that has gripped the nation since allegations of cronyism and corruption between Park and long-time friend Choi Soon-sil emerged in late 2016 is not over.

South Korea's political turmoil has generated a leadership vacuum, resulting in uncertain domestic and foreign policy at an extremely inopportune moment. This uncertainty will undoubtedly continue until a new president is elected and may even continue if the new leader lacks a strong mandate from the people and doubts arise over whether establishment politics and business as usual will continue.

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