The Constitutional Court has set the date for the final verdict for President Park Geun-hye's impeachment. As it turns out, the date was fixed before acting chief Lee Jung-mi is scheduled to retire on the 13th when eight Justices will vote on the case.
The Constitutional Court said on March 8, "The Justices will deliver the verdict at 11 am on March 10 after an all-member meeting." A court official cautioned, however, "The fact that the court date has been set doesn't mean the ruling has already been made." The verdict will be live telecast by TV stations just as it was in 2004 when former President Roh Moo-hyun was under the same fate.
Legal experts said that the Constitutional Justices would cast votes just before the verdict is made in order to keep it confidential. The reason the announcement time was set at 11 am instead of the usual time of 10 am was intended to earn more time for the final meeting and voting. If more than six Justices out of eight cast yes votes, President Park would be relieved of her position immediately. If more than three said no to the proposal, the impeachment request would be denied. If the Justices find the impeachment request does not meet legal requirements, it would be thrown out.
Depending on what verdict the Justice will make, election schedule may change. Once Park is out of her position, the election would be held in May as the election law stipulates that an election be held within 60 days after the impeachment is confirmed. Legal experts and political observers said the most likely election date would be May 9 if the sitting President is out. Once the impeachment is denied or thrown out, the election would be held on December 20 as originally scheduled.