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Two Ministers to Play the Role of Libero

Posted January. 17, 2008 07:22,   


The presidential transition committee released its government reorganization plan yesterday. According to the plan, two minister positions without portfolio will be created.

The transition committee explained that the two ministers who will be put under the prime minister are sort of ‘ministers without portfolio.’ Although their position seems to be similar to what was formerly known as the minister of state for political affairs, they have different roles and characteristics.

The minister of state for political affairs, which was scraped in line with the inauguration of former president Kim Dae-jung, dealt with assembly-related works and gender equality issues, currently under the responsibility of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. The two newly-created ministerial posts will focus on core policies of the administration that are also related to other ministries. For example, they will handle overseas resources development and foreign investor attraction.

In some aspects, the incoming government, which is about to downsize the current 18-ministry structure to a 13-ministry one in order to achieve its goal of creating a “small but efficient” government, seems to be planning the two positions in order to fill 15 minister positions, the minimum number of ministers required by the Constitutions.

However, the incoming government said it would prevent the roles of the two ministers from overlapping with those of chief presidential secretary for political affairs. Instead, it plans to commit them to reinvigorating the economy, without turning them into “multi-players” with no specific purposes.

Nevertheless, their roles cannot be completely separate from political affairs, the transition team noted.

Rev. Park Jae-wan, who heads the government innovation and public sector reform task force, explained, “Please understand that the two ministers will play a role of libero and deal with special tasks commissioned by the president. Among those special tasks can be dealing with opposition parties when the administration’s relations with them are taking a downturn.”