Go to contents

Prime minister-nominee’ approval in the offing

Posted May. 30, 2017 07:20,   

Updated May. 30, 2017 07:24


The approval process for Prime Minister-nominee Lee Nak-yeon has entered the homestretch. The People’s Party, which is holding the casting vote, has announced Monday their will to cooperate from a broader point of view, meaning the nomination could be passed in the plenary session on Wednesday. The ruling Minjoo Party of Korea and the presidential office are poised to make an all-out effort to persuade the Liberty Korea Party and the Bareun Party, who are skeptical about Lee’s nomination.

On Monday, the People’s Party convened general meetings twice on Monday and made the decision to delegate the authority for approval to Floor Leader Kim Dong-cheol and the party leadership. Floor Leader Kim had a meeting with reporters to announce the party’s decision to cooperate.

It appears that the progress report on the prime minister-nominee’s confirmation could be adopted as early as on Tuesday. The National Assembly’s 13-man special panel on personnel hearing includes 5 Minjoo lawmakers and 2 members of the People’s Party. If the two parties agree, it would constitute majority, and the report could be adopted. In the plenary session, if the Minjoo and People’s Parties, which hold 120 and 40 seats, respectively, approve of Lee’s nomination, the greater part of the total 299 seats necessary for approval will also be secured.

Some experts say that the Liberty Korea Party won’t be able to oppose to the end against the new administration’s first personnel choice. Against this backdrop, a possibility is raised that in exchange for approving of Lee’s nomination, Liberty Korea could propose a big deal that demands the withdrawal of nomination of either Foreign Minister-nominee Kang Kyung-hwa or Fair Trade Commission Chairman-nominee Kim Sang-jo, who are allegedly involved in a set of scandals including false resident registration and tax evasion.

“As to those deemed involved in the five main corruption charges among the nominees, we demand that their nomination be retracted for the sake of stable state-affairs and true cooperation of governance,” said Floor Leader Jung Woo-taek of the Liberty Korea Party on Monday. Mentioning a series of suspicions about Foreign Minister-nominee Kang in particular, Liber Korea declared "cancelation of Kang’s nomination" as the minimum condition for the party to cooperate.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter on Friday at CBS Kim Hyun-jung’s News Show, 72.4 percent of respondents said, “The National Assembly must approve Lee’s nomination,” which is roughly five times higher than those who opposed (15.4 percent). While the public sentiment for approval prevailed across the nation, the approval ratio in Gwangju·Jeolla region was the highest at 84.9 percent.

Jin-Kyun Kil leon@donga.com · Jin-Woo Shin niceshin@donga.com