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Roh Mulls Pick for Next Prime Minister

Posted March. 17, 2006 03:08,   


A clearer picture of how President Roh Moo-hyun intends to manage state affairs after the resignation of former Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan is gradually emerging.

According to a high-ranking official yesterday, Roh told Cheong Wa Dae aides on March 15 that he would maintain the current structure of the government’s state affairs administration system.

Regarding the selection of the next prime minister, the official said, “To my knowledge, the president is looking for someone he can give responsibility to.”

The general view of Cheong Wa Dae officials is that the president will select a capable person who can understand the president’s thoughts instead of someone with political or family connections.

Board of Audit and Inspection Chairman Jeon Yun-churl and Chief Policy Planner Kim Byung-jun have been mentioned as prime ministerial candidates who fulfill these criteria.

Regarding the timing of the selection, some members of the Uri Party argue that the next prime minister should be selected after the local elections in May and that deputy Prime Minister Han Duck-soo should serve in the post until then. It is unlikely that the post will be left vacant for long, however.

A high-ranking official of Cheong Wa Dae implied that the selection process will be completed by next week, saying, “The candidates will be narrowed down soon.”

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com