SEOUL, South Korea — Ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye left the presidential Blue House on Sunday, two days after a court dismissed her over a corruption scandal.
Hundreds of Park's supporters stood near her private home for hours before she vacated the official residence. They waved the South Korean flag and photos of Park and her late father, Park Chung-hee, singing the national anthem and shouting "Nullify impeachment!"
Park, 65, faces the possibility of prosecution and jail after the country's Constitutional Court formally removed her from office on Friday, upholding an impeachment motion filed by lawmakers in December. The case revolved around suspicions that she colluded with a confidante to extort money and favors from companies and allowed the friend to secretly manipulate state affairs.
For months, hundreds of thousands of South Koreans regularly spilled onto the streets to protest Park's relationship with Choi Soon-sil — the powerful daughter of a late cult leader who is accused of massive influence peddling.
On Sunday, Park left the compound in a motorcade of fast-driving black cars, flanked by police motorbikes, after bidding farewell to staff, an official said. She was heading for her home in the Gangnam district of the capital, Seoul, where hundreds of flag-waving supporters waited.
"President Park Geun-hye has just now departed the Blue House and headed for her private home," a Blue House official said by text message.
The ruling and her departure from the official residence ended a power struggle that had consumed the nation and marked a stunning downfall for Park. In 2012, she convincingly defeated her liberal opponent with overwhelming support from older South Koreans, who remembered her dictator father as a hero.
Members of Park's conservative party also gathered at her home.
Workers were earlier seen unloading a television, washing machine, bed and other household items from trucks and carrying them into Park's house.
Park no longer has immunity from prosecution and may face criminal charges including extortion, bribery and abuse of power.
Park struck a defiant tone Sunday, in her first public comments since the court ruling which forced her from power.
"I feel sorry that I could not finish the mandate given to me as president," a spokesman for Park, member of parliament Min Kyung-wook, quoted her as saying.
"It will take time, but I believe the truth will be revealed," the spokesman added.
She earlier apologized for putting trust in her jailed friend, Choi, but strongly denied any legal wrongdoing.
South Korea now has to elect a new president by early May. Opinion polls show liberal Moon Jae-in, who lost to Park in 2012, as the favorite to become the country's next leader.