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Unfair Cabinet Reshuffling to Support the Next Presidential Candidate

Unfair Cabinet Reshuffling to Support the Next Presidential Candidate

Posted May. 24, 2004 22:05,   


An early cabinet reshuffling scheduled to appoint three new ministers of the ministries of reunification, health and welfare, and culture and tourism within this week has been delayed today, as Prime Minister Goh Kun refused to accept President Roh Moo-hyun’s request for recommending new cabinet ministers.

At his official residence in Samchung-dong yesterday, Premier Goh met with Chief Presidential Secretary Kim Woo-sik and said, “I don’t think it is appropriate for the retiring prime minister to make recommendations for his successor of the first cabinet since the president’s return,” and repeated his apologies, said Blue House spokesman Yoon Tae-young.

Goh handed in his resignation to the President through Kim during the meeting, which is likely to be accepted in a day or two.

Spokesman Yoon explained that President Roh and Premier Goh will have a breakfast meeting on May 25, but that the issue on Prime Minister’s recommendations will not be discussed any longer.

As a result, President Roh will have no choice but to delay the Cabinet shake-up for the second stage of his administration by the end of next month, following the National Assembly’s hearing and approval of the appointment of the next prime minister candidate.

While discussing the cabinet reshuffling, President Roh has been criticized for improperly operating the personnel management system, which was considered one of the current administration’s achievements, by replacing ministers with the ruling party’s next presidential candidates without giving any reasonable grounds.

Presidential Secretary for Personnel Affairs Chung Chan-yong said during a press conference yesterday that the cabinet reshuffling will take place in about a month “if Premier Goh doesn’t exercise his right of recommendation.” The new prime minister will then go through the National Assembly’s public hearing process, he said. “In that case, the cabinet reshuffling may not be limited to 3 ministries,” which hints at a possible extensive shake-up.

Chung added that some changes of vice ministers will follow the ministerial shake-ups. However, the targets will be those who have reasons for resignation during the one-and-a-half year period since the launch of Roh’s administration. Chung, however, said that ministers and vice–ministers will not be changed at the same time.

Meanwhile, in his statement yesterday, Prime Minister Goh said, “As the first Prime Minister of the participatory government, I’ve completed my role and mission and just sent in my resignation to the President through the presidential secretary. I once again appreciate the Korean people who have supported me in the completion of my duties to stabilize national operations and manage an unbiased general election.”