Prosecutors Summon Ousted South Korean Leader for Questioning

Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn

S. Korea acting leader turns down resignations by Park aides

The date for South Korea's presidential election has been announced, with the country set to vote on its next leader almost two months after a court upheld the impeachment of former president, Park Geun-hye.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who has also been acting president since December, said earlier he would not run in the election.

The scandal has undermined support for the ruling conservatives and bolstered the chances of a prominent liberal, Moon Jae In, who is leading in opinion polls.

Hwang became the obvious candidate for conservatives after Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary general, pulled out of the running.

The Constitutional Court Friday found Park had "continuously" violated the law and the constitution. She vacated the role of president last week and South Koreans will elect a new president 9 May.

If she answers to the summons, Park will be the country's fourth former president to undergo questioning over criminal allegations, following Roh Tae-woo, Chun Doo-hwan and the late Roh Moo-hyun.

Park's impeachment left the country divided, with a hard core of her supporters continuing to demonstrate long after the court's decision was announced on Friday.

Even after her impeachment, she remains defiant. "It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed", Park added, according to the spokesman. Ms Park told staff members to take good care of the dogs before vacating the Blue House on Sunday, Ms Kim said.

Her lawyers said in a statement they would cooperate. After questioning Park, the Prosecutors are planning to consider the option of requesting a warrant for her arrest.

Jay Y. Lee, the head of Samsung Group, is on trial on bribery, embezzlement and other charges in connection with the scandal. Lee, who has been effectively running the huge conglomerate since his father, Lee Kun-hee, was hospitalized nearly three years ago, is facing charges including bribery, embezzlement, perjury and violating the law on transferring assets overseas.

Samsung denies any wrongdoing.

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