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Give appointment certificates to Cabinet ministers

Posted March. 08, 2013 15:29,   


Nine of the 17 Cabinet minister candidates nominated by President Park Geun-hye have passed confirmation hearings at the National Assembly. They cannot work yet, however, because the president failed to give them certificates of appointment. She apparently did not decide on when to give the certificates, either after passing the revised bill of the Government Organization Act or after each confirmation hearing. As the main opposition Democratic United Party opposed the bill, she seems to want to pressure the party. The presidential office has also held a meeting of senior secretaries every day chaired by chief of staff Huh Tae-yeol, and first- and second-level secretaries served as de facto acting ministers. This is a gross violation of law.

Because the ministers haven`t been given their certificates of appointment, the overall schedule has been delayed including the appointment of deputy ministers and subsequent appointments. Outgoing ministers are passive at work, and smart subordinates do not report to them properly. Outgoing and new ministers are in an awkward situation, as the former is doing nothing while the latter work in a separate office outside of their respective ministries. Foreign Minister-designate Yun Byeong-se, who passed the confirmation hearing, works at a temporary office with his subordinates as he cannot go to the government complex building. Hyun Oh-seok, who was nominated as deputy prime minister for finance, will attend his confirmation hearing Wednesday.

The president might be at loggerheads with the opposition party, which did not pass the revised bill, but she should give appointment certificates to the nine ministers who passed confirmation hearings and host a Cabinet meeting as soon as possible. Even if her Cabinet is a mixture of ministers appointed by her predecessor Lee Myung-bak and new ministers, the new ministers should fill the gap. Even with the benefit of the doubt, she seems too dogged about the certificates because the opposition party is opposing the bill.

President Park did not include Kim Jang-soo, chief of the presidential national security office, in the senior secretaries` meeting just because the National Assembly did not pass the bill on government reorganization. This can be interpreted only as a silent demonstration. She must achieve a breakthrough in this crisis through a leadership of communication and leadership. She is the chief of national affairs and has unlimited responsibilities. Moreover, North Korea is threatening to set South Korea on fire using nuclear weapons.