Go to contents

PM Nominee Set for Rough Confirmation Hearing

Posted September. 21, 2009 08:49,   


The confirmation hearing of Prime Minister-designate Chung Un-chan this week is expected to focus on his position at Sejong City, a new administrative city under construction in the Chungcheong region.

After his nomination, he hinted at a revision for the city, saying, “Though it will be difficult to go back to the beginning, construction will likely follow the revised plan rather than the original.”

In a written reply submitted to the National Assembly Friday, he expressed strong commitment for the revision, citing “administrative inefficiency issues with the original plan.”

In response, the main opposition Democratic Party and the minor conservative Liberty Forward Party said Chung’s comments indicate the Lee Myung-bak administration’s intent to revise plans for Sejong City by putting a provincial figure in charge, adding Chung’s position on the construction will be thoroughly questioned at the hearing.

The ruling party urged that Chung’s comments should not spark a political battle, saying, “Opposition parties should not take political advantage of Chung’s words through exaggerated interpretation.”

Since the opposition plans to approve Chung’s appointment based on his replies to questions on Sejong City, a fierce debate is inevitable.

The confirmation hearing is also expected to focus on Chung’s alleged tax evasion, draft dodging and registering a false address.

On Chung’s past criticism of President Lee’s policies on real estate, tax cuts and the project to restore the country’s four major rivers, the Democratic Party will question Chung on if he changed his principles to get appointed.

His alleged draft dodging could also hamper his appointment as prime minister.

In addition, opposition parties plan to discuss his wife’s false registration of her residence in 1988, when she changed her residence in just two months from Pocheon County, Gyeonggi Province, to Seoul’s Seocho district.

Chung is also alleged to have evaded taxes by underreporting transaction prices of properties he purchased.

Other issues to be raised also include his omission of rental income from a studio apartment in Seoul’s Gangnam district last year.