President Park Geun-hye approved the requests for confirmation hearings for eight, newly nominated Cabinet ministers on Tuesday, giving the National Assembly up to 20 days to conclude them.
For the presidential office, confirmation can't come soon enough, particularly for Finance Minister-nominee Choi Kyung-hwan.
A leadership vacuum exists in the economic sector, and the government is worried about lost time, as the economy is gripped by fears of a double-dip recession amid slumping domestic demand.
Korean consumers are increasingly reluctant to open their wallets, and businesses are shying away from massive investment.
Experts say exports could falter if the strengthening of the Korean won continues unabated.
The problems underscore the importance of having a finance minister in place, someone who can come up with an extra budget and influence monetary policies.
Plans to reform the overall regulatory system, overhaul debt-ridden public enterprises and boost domestic demand are likely to remain stalled until a new finance minister is installed.
The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae hopes that person is nominee Choi Kyung-hwan, whose close ties with the president stand to help him push through major policies.
"But his nomination remains in limbo, due to differences among government agencies and a lack of cooperation from the National Assembly.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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