South Korea’s President Park Geun-hyehas become the country’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office after judges voted unanimously to impeach her.

The historic ruling triggered violent protests in the streets, with two people dying in clashes between demonstrators and police.

Friday’s ruling from the highest court in the land follows an earlier impeachment decision by the parliament, and months of mass public protests over her role in a corruption scandal involving close confidante, Choi Soon-sil.

Her dismissal thrusts the country into a rushed 60 day election campaign, leaving Seoul with a leadership vacuum at a time of heightened regional tension over missile tests by volatile neighbouring North Korea.

The personal costs of Park’s fall from grace may also be high.