Prime minister nominee resigns amid controversy over post-retirement earningsUpdated: 2014-05-29 06:28:56 (KST)
"I'm stepping down as the nominee for prime minister. I'm sorry for disappointing the nation over allegations that I received privileges for my former post."
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At a press conference Wednesday, Ahn said his nomination would only stand to burden the government and that it had already caused his family stress.
He also apologized to the president for the recent dispute.
Ahn's withdrawal comes just six days after President Park tapped him to be her new prime minister citing his principles and integrity, saying they would help him successfully carry out the much-needed reforms in the public sector and the government.
But soon after he got the presidential nod, it was revealed he made about 1.5 million U.S. dollars in a period of just five months, working as a lawyer after leaving the supreme court.
Although he had previously donated a third of the amount and said he would return the remaining one million dollars to society earlier this week, that didn't stop the main opposition party from demanding for his resignation.
The presidential office, citing the chief of staff said President Park, seemed regretful upon receiving Ahn's resignation, just before the press conference.
Wednesday's development is expected to put the brakes on the president's drive to restructure the government and to correct irregularities in the public sector in the aftermath of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster.
At the National Assembly, the ruling Saenuri Party also expressed regret that Ahn didn't get a chance to have his qualifications put to the test at a hearing.
The opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, on the other hand, gave a sigh of relief, then criticized the presidential office's incompetent personnel review system.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.
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