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Cabinet Reshuffle To Be Conducted This Month

Posted February. 22, 2007 03:42,   


President Roh Moo-hyun will leave the ruling Uri Party within this month at the earliest, and he will conduct a partial cabinet reshuffle by replacing Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook and some other ministers from the party.

“It seems as if the president is preparing to disaffiliate himself from the party,” announced Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Yoon Seung-yong on February 21. “Internally, we are discussing when and how he will deal with change of situations such as party withdrawal.”

President Roh will reportedly invite the new Uri Party leadership, including new party chairman Chung Se-gyun, to Cheong Wa Dae to have dinner and give his thoughts on the issue.

The president’s withdrawal from the Uri Party is interpreted as a move to show his commitment to the constitutional amendment and help the new party leadership push for a new unified party by leaving the party before legislating the constitutional amendment for a four-year double-term presidency, which is expected to be done right after the adjournment of the extraordinary session of the National Assembly.

It has been decided that when President Roh disaffiliates himself from the party, Prime Minister Han will announce her resignation and return to the party. It remains to be seen, however, whether other ministers from the party—Minister Rhyu Si-min of Health and Welfare, Minister Lee Sang-soo of Labor, and Minister Park Hong-soo of Agriculture and Fisheries—will also be included in the cabinet reshuffle.

Cheong Wa Dae has already begun the process of selecting the next prime minister. Likely candidates include Chungcheong Province figures Lee Gyu-sung, the former minister of finance and economy, and Kim Woo-sik, the deputy prime minister and minister of science and technology.