As South Koreans head to polls to fill the top office’s vacancy left by ousted President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday, some wonder whether Park herself cast voted.
Park, who was removed from power over a series of corruption allegations in March, has remained in detention since her arrest three weeks after falling from power. She is now on trial for abusing her power and receiving bribes from local firms to help her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil’s business interests.
According to local news reports, she gave up her right to vote as she did not ask for an absentee ballot, which is provided to inmates in detention facilities.
Some 976 out of 3,100 inmates in the Seoul Detention Center, where Park is in custody, voted through absentee ballots.
Under the South Korean law, inmates, those serving mandatory military service and residents residing on remote islands can cast absentee ballots upon registration in advance.
Kim Ki-choon, the former chief of staff to the former president, as well as Choi, Park’s confidante at the center of the corruption scandal, allegedly cast absentee ballots in prison.
The corruption scandal triggered months of street protests demanding Park’s ouster since last October, which eventually led the parliament to impeach her. The decision was upheld by the Constitutional Court in a unanimous decision on March 10.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)