Two people died in demonstrations in Seoul, South Korea following a court's decision to uphold the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.
Park's "acts of violating the constitution and law are a betrayal of the public trust", acting Chief Justice Lee Jung-mi said.
Vast majority of South Koreans back president's impeachment..
Park allegedly worked with her to extort millions from businesses; a more sensational version has the now-former president essentially under the control of that friend, who is the daughter of a cult leader.
Some women also found it humbling that one of the highest judges in the country does her own hair instead of hiring a stylist even on such an important day.
A likely candidate is liberal Moon Jae-In, who lost to Ms Park in 2012 but now leads the polls.
Park was stripped of her powers after the South Korean National Assembly voted to impeach her, but has remained in the official presidential compound. China is also vehemently opposed to the roll out of a U.S. missile defence system in South Korea, which began this week.
The ruling sparked protests from hundreds of her supporters, two of whom were killed in clashes with police outside the court.
Some South Koreans saw the apparent mistake as a sign of Lee's dedication to her work.
Park's removal would allow South Korean policy makers - including acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn - to focus more on a slowing economy, escalating tensions with North Korea and economic retaliation from China over the the Thaad missile-defense system.
The ruling means Ms Park becomes the first democratically elected president to be removed from office, and could face prosecution over corruption allegations.
After months of political wrangling, legal drama and historic protests, a decision on the fate of scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye is expected Friday. Election of someone with such views would be good for South Korea, Beijing and the region.
Park has faced bad approval ratings and massive protests since it emerged that Choi had access to confidential government documents, despite having no official office.
The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) urged Park to declare that she will accept whatever outcome for the sake of national unity, reflecting political opinion outside of the conservative ruling camp.
But the judges dismissed some charges, including accusations Ms Park had infringed on freedom of the press by creating a media blacklist of cultural figures, and criticism of her response during the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster.