Lawmakers in South Korea‘s National Assembly have voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye, the latest development in a political saga that has rocked Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
The vote passed by 234 votes to 56, according to CNN. The country’s constitutional court will now deliberate whether or not it will force Park to leave office but it is also possible that she could resign first, the network reported.
So far, retail sales in South Korea have shown resiliency since the political turmoil began in October. The country’s retail sales for that month grew 8.4 percent. Sales for November- perhaps a more meaningful indication of the true impact of the scandal and widespread protests on retail- are due late this month.
Local department stores Hyundai, Lotte and Shinsegae department stores experienced a combined increase of 6 percent year on year in October, while discount retailers including Lotte Mart and E-mart saw an increase of 0.9 percent.
Park and her long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil, are accused of extortion and the abuse of official power for personal gain. Local conglomerates SK Group, Samsung Group, Lotte Group and the state-run National Pension Service have also been mired in recent investigations over Park’s bribery and corruption claims.
Korea suffered another blow recently with news that China has reportedly banned Korean entertainment activities and celebrity appearances. That move is prompting questions over how some brands might tweak their communication strategies to eliminate ties to Korean celebrities.