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SUN, 2014-10-26  KST

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Failed personnel appointments to deal blow to president's reform drive

Updated: 2014-06-26 06:28:21 KST
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The withdrawal of President Park's second prime minister nominee in the past month, has put the brakes on the president's reform drive, brought on by April's ferry disaster.
It's been two months since Prime Minister Chung Hong-won tendered his resignation for the government's lax response to the ferry accident, and the search for his successor has gone back to square one.
There is a line-up of Cabinet minister nominees awaiting confirmation hearings and the details of a government restructuring plan remain in limbo.
The back-to-back personnel appointment failures could come at a heavy price for the president and the ruling party ahead of next month's by-elections.
There's mounting criticism within both the ruling and opposition parties over the presidential office's personnel verification system, and the opposition is demanding the presidential chief of staff take responsibility.
This means lawmakers are likely to go over the president's nominees for eight Cabinet positions and the chief of the state intelligence agency with a fine-tooth comb at their confirmation hearings next month.
Some of them have already come under fire, including the nominee to head the National Intelligence Service Lee Byung-kee, who's been implicated in illegal political funding activities in the past.
Education minister nominee Kim Myung-soo stands accused of plagiarizing students' thesis papers.
Although the nine nominees don't require parliamentary confirmation to be appointed by the president, what is said at their hearings could have an effect on the president and the ruling party.
While there's speculation that President Park is likely to select a politician as her next prime minister, opposition co-leader Ahn Cheol-soo has suggested the president consult with political parties before announcing her pick.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News.


Reporter : yschoi@arirang.co.kr

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