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Sweeping Reshuffle of Pres. Office Planned at Year’s End

Sweeping Reshuffle of Pres. Office Planned at Year’s End

Posted December. 08, 2008 05:16,   


The presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is pushing for a sweeping internal overhaul before a Cabinet reshuffle, a Cheong Wa Dae official said yesterday.

The official told The Dong-A Ilbo over the phone that a reshuffle plan for the presidential office was submitted to President Lee Myung-bak Saturday. “The reform plan seeks to reshape organizations, such as the merger of the spokesman’s office with the public relations secretariat, whose work is said to grossly overlap, and other personnel measures.”

On criticism of Cheong Wa Dae by ruling party lawmakers as incompetent and heavy-handed at a meeting, Presidential Chief of Staff Chung Chung-kil said a large number of presidential secretaries will be replaced soon.

“The replacement list has been drawn up and screening of new figures is underway,” another presidential official said. “The scope of the reshuffle will be broader than expected, affecting senior presidential secretaries to executive officers.”

The reshuffle will come as early as the end of the year, said the official. It had been slated for the end of February next year to coincide with the first anniversary of President Lee’s inauguration.

The reshuffle will take effect immediately after a meeting of senior presidential secretaries chaired by Chung revises presidential instructions that include the reshuffle.

President Lee seems determined to work hard with a new staff next year by reshuffling the presidential office, followed by a Cabinet reshuffle, experts said.

One Cheong Wa Dae source quoted President Lee as saying at a meeting with his secretaries, “I would’ve considered one thing and another if the situation we face was not this grave. But we have only one choice and that is to work harder than ever. This is the only way we can regain public trust.”

“In running the administration, national interests should come first. I will consider nothing other than that.”

On President Lee’s comments, one senior secretary said the chief executive is committed to transforming the presidential office to a practical system that focuses on “work” instead of “enthusiasm.”

mhpark@donga.com ddr@donga.com