An election will be held in May to choose a successor to ousted South Korean leader Park Geun-hye, who has caused anger by leaving her nine dogs in the presidential palace.
With Friday's ruling, Park became the first democratically-elected leader of the country to be stripped off her powers and she left the presidential Blue House, called the Cheong Wa Dae, on Sunday and moved into her house in an affluent district of Seoul. Park denies all the charges that were raised against her during the investigations by the prosecutors and by the Special Prosecutor.
"To stabilize state affairs and fairly administer the presidential election, I've reached the judgment that it is inappropriate for me to run in the election", Hwang was quoted as saying at a Cabinet meeting by Yonhap News Agency.More news: Sir Alex Ferguson to manage Manchester United one last time
The unpopular politician may not have legally abandoned them, as South Korea's animal protection law defines lost or abandoned animals as those "wandering without an owner in public places" or "left deserted in paper boxes or other containers".
The Constitutional Court dismissed Park on Friday last week when it upheld a December parliamentary impeachment vote.
"But the criminal investigation will continue and could yield more explosive details about corruption at the top levels of government and business". In a statement later that afternoon, Park's attorneys said Park would "appear at the time requested by Prosecutors and faithfully comply with questioning".More news: BBC America Orders New Top Gear Series, William Fichtner Among Hosts
It comes as Ms Park was called for questioning and named as a suspect in the wide-ranging corruption scandal that eventually led to her downfall. "We will fully cooperate with the investigation", he told reporters.
They allege that Choi, Park's friend, planned to take $37 million in bribes from Samsung in return for favorable treatment for the country's largest conglomerate.
Jay Y. Lee, the head of Samsung Group, is on trial on bribery, embezzlement and other charges in connection with the scandal.More news: Met Éireann issues snow-ice warning
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