Posted September. 17, 2010 21:46,
President Lee Myung-bak nominated for prime minister Thursday Board of Audit and Inspection Chairman Kim Hwang-sik.
Kim was named 49 days after Chung Un-chan resigned as prime minister (July 29) and 18 days after Kim Tae-ho dropped out of the running for the position (Aug. 29) over ethics. The incumbent administration is reeling from problems in personnel selection.
President Lee is said to have started the process to pick a new chairman of the internal government watchdog and foreign minister.
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, presidential chief of staff Yim Tae-hee said, "President Lee nominated Kim for prime minister after persuading him in person because Kim showed morality, integrity and the ability to control all administrative departments while serving as a judge and chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection."
Born in Jangseong County, South Jeolla Province, Kim could be the country`s first prime minister from his province should he pass his parliamentary confirmation hearing. Also in the running was Public Administration and Security Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu, but he was reportedly not selected because he has served as minister for just four months.
The presidential office said Kim will have no problems getting confirmed as prime minister because three major issues raised in the 2008 confirmation hearings for his appointment as chairman of the internal government watchdog were resolved.
The three issues were an income tax deduction for his children`s tuition for overseas graduate study (seven million won or 6,018 U.S. dollars), inheritance tax on funds borrowed from two relatives, and his exemption from military duty.
Cho Young-taek, spokesman for the main opposition Democratic Party, told a briefing, "This is positive because the decision broke with the tradition of a Gyeongsang Province-dominated designation. Though (Kim) has been considerably screened as he served in important government positions, he will be more thoroughly screened."