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President Park may carry out reshuffles this week

Updated: 2014-06-12 03:36:43 (KST)
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Contrary to earlier predictions, President Park is expected to carry out reshuffles of her Cabinet and the presidential office before departing for Central Asia next Monday.
That seems to be the consensus, as the swift move would be made to avoid a further delay in government restructuring and public service reforms, which the president promised in the aftermath of April's ferry disaster.
On Wednesday, her spokesperson Min Kyung-wook said there was a possibility the changes could take place this week.
Under normal circumstances, the president would wait for the prime minister nominee to be confirmed by the National Assembly at the end of this month or the start of next before making such a wide-scale change.
But since the president cannot afford to waste any more time, her nominee Moon Chang-keuk will likely take part in the process of choosing new Cabinet ministers, while current Prime Minister Chung Hong-won would make the official recommendations.
The speculation is that the nation's finance minister, who also acts as the deputy prime minister, will likely be replaced by the president's close aide and former ruling party floor leader Choi Kyung-hwan.
Another potential candidate is current presidential economic affairs secretary Cho Won-dong.
The ministers of security and education, both of whom came under fire for inconsiderate behavior after the ferry accident, may get the axe.
It's speculated that someone from academia could take on the role of education minister, who will also sit as the second deputy prime minister.
A number of President Park's senior secretaries, including ones in charge of the economy, culture, and political affairs may either be named into the Cabinet or given a different post.
Meanwhile, her chief of staff and senior secretary for state planning are widely expected to stay put for now.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.


Reporter : yschoi@arirang.co.kr

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