Presidents Who Were Impeached Globally
Impeachment is the removal of an elected leader from office before their term elapses. F
or instance, the American constitution allows for the impeachment of the president, his vice, and all the civil officers if they are accused of treason, bribery, or conviction.
Section 2 of the American constitution states, “the President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” In the world, some countries allow impeachment of state officials, including the president while others don’t.
Many countries that allow impeachment of the president formulate a process to make sure the head of the state can only be impeached through a majority vote. In the impeachment process, house representatives vote for the impeachment. After the voting is done and the majority of the house members vote in favor the motion is moved to the Senate, where two-third is required to convict and remove the president from office.
Despite this been a right in the practicing countries, only a few countries have dared to impeach the head of state. Among presidents who were impeached are:
1. Park Geun-Hye, South Korea
In 2016, the National Assembly of South Korea voted to impeach the president, and temporarily suspend his presidential powers and duties. The president was accused of interventions to the presidency from her aide.
In the impeachment, 234 Members of the Assembly out of 300 voted in favor of the impeachment. Following the impeachment of Park, the Country’s Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-Ahn assumed office as the acting president. The Constitution court later in 2017 upheld the impeachment removing Park from office. In the same year, a presidential election was held, and Moon Jae-In was elected to succeed Park. Park got a 24 years jail term after being found guilty of abuse of power and coercion.
2. Bill Clinton, United States of America
In 1998, Bill Clinton became the second president in the history of the United States to be impeached after Andrew Johnson, who was impeached in 1868.
On the 8th of October 1998, the house representatives voted to start the impeachment process of Bill who had been accused of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The charges were narrowed to ‘lying under oath’ and ‘obstruction of justice.’
The president was also accused of sexual harassment, claims which he denied. Bill was charged with engaging in a sexual affair with a woman named Lewinsky. Clinton was though acquitted the impeachment when the Senate failed to convict the head of state by the required two-thirds majority.
3. Andrew Johnson, United States of America
Andrew Johnson made history books as the first American president to be impeached. In 1868 the 17th president of the United States was accused of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which was translated to Violation of Tenure of office act.
The House representatives passed the impeachment of Andrew and forwarded the impeachment to the Senate for trial. The Senate became president’s savior after failing to convict him after falling short of the required two-thirds majority by only one vote. After failing the impeachment, the Senate took a ten-day recess before attempting to convict him for the second time which also failed by the same margin.
4. Fernando Lugo, Paraguay
Fernando Lugo was elected the president of Paraguay in 2008 but could not retain the office in 2012. In June 2012, with a majority vote, the Congress of Paraguay voted to impeach the president. Immediately after the voting which happened on the 21st of June to impeach Lugo, he was kicked out of office the following day by the Senate.
The president accepted the impeachment allowing his Vice President Federico Franco to take after him. Despite charged with the impeachment, Lugo termed it as a “parliamentary coup” and that he has however acquitted enough time for his defense.
The impeachment process of a president despite being a right is not easy and in most cases the process to see the light of the day with most cases been defeated either by the court or by the Senate.
Currently, the United States President Donald Trump is facing impeachment with the house speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing that the house representatives will launch a formal impeachment inquiry against the president.