Major political change is going on right now in South Korea. The Asian country's former president left the executive mansion yesterday, three months after lawmakers voted to impeach her and a few days after the nation's constitutional court voted to remove her from office. That formally sealed the end of the leadership of President Park Geun-hye. She headed for her private home in Seoul afterward.
Former President Park said she was sorry she couldn't fulfill her duty as president until the end, and added that though she'll accept the court's decision, quote, "it will take time and the truth will definitely come out."
Last year, President Park had admitted to sharing confidential information with a close friend who didn't hold elected office. South Korea's largest news agency reported that more than 70 percent of the country supported her impeachment, but many did not. And in some violent protest that broke out after President Park's impeachment, three people died.
An election for a new president has to take place within two months. In the meantime, the government is pushing for peace among South Koreans.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The moment they heard Park Geun-hye was out.
Sheer joy from protesters who've been on the streets of Seoul for months calling for her to go after Park became embroiled in a massive corruption scandal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm so much overjoyed. This is the very historical moment on Korea.
HANCOCKS: Just one street away, heartbreak and frustration. Passion which turned to anger on occasion, emotions running high as pro-Park supporters believed the allegations against the former president are politically motivated and justice was not served.
Why are you so angry that she's been impeached?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They cannot OK processing her step by step in the law.
HANCOCKS: Injuries, arrests —
And this is very emotional situation here. You can see the passion of these protesters.
A flurry of diplomatic activity. Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn put the military on high alert and held a cabinet and national security meeting before addressing the nation, pleading for calm.
HWANG KYO-AHN, ACTING PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA (through translator): There will be people who cannot accept this and find it hard to submit to this.
But now is the time to accept and end the conflict and opposition.
HANCOCKS: South Korea's first female president is now the country's first impeached president. Nothing was seen or heard from Park Geun-hye on Friday. Park has now lost presidential immunity, just days after special prosecutors recommended she'd be indicted as a bribery suspect, alleging she helped an unelected confidant to extort money from big business. Park has denied any wrongdoing.
But for these protesters, Friday was a day to celebrate, a day they believe they saw people power toppled a president.