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Disappointed, but Chungcheong residents grudgingly accept ‘premier’s resignation’

Disappointed, but Chungcheong residents grudgingly accept ‘premier’s resignation’

Posted April. 22, 2015 07:18,   


As Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo finally offered to resign, people in the Chungcheong provinces showed mixed responses. Some expressed regret for losing a chance to expedite regional development, while many others expressed sense of disappointment and betrayal by him for changing his words and disparaging the region.

Lee in Cheongyang County, South Chungcheong Province which is Lee’s hometown, said, “I feel regret that Prime Minister Lee is being too harshly attacked, because compared with other politicians, the amount Prime Minister Lee allegedly received is smaller, and the money was granted in the name of political donation.” Yook Dong-il, professor of autonomous government administration at Chungnam National University, said, “I thought that the Chungcheong region was relatively left behind, and expected that Prime Minister Lee would correct such imbalance, and I regret that he has quit in the middle of his term in office,” stressing, “Korea must use this as an opportunity for political reform.”

A civil servant at Buyeo County said, “Prime Minister Lee made many pledges while serving as lawmaker, but failed to deliver, and thus lost credibility,” adding, “When he faced a crisis, he cited the talking style by Chungcheong people to excuse himself, and disparaged people of his hometown to be naïve and ludicrous, and as a result, public sentiment is negative towards him.” Moon Chang-gi, director general at Daejeon Participatory Autonomous Civil Coalition, said, “There were a flurry of suspicions against him during his confirmation hearing process, and people in the Chungcheong provinces seem to have been too obsessed with him due to his background as a figure hailing from Chungcheong,” adding, “A prime minister should be a person who works for the Korean people as the premier of the Republic of Korea, rather than serving as a premier of a certain region.”

In the wake this incident, majority of watchers believe that Prime Minister Lee will have no chance to recover leadership as a political leader from the Chungcheong region. Eom Tae-seok, a political science professor at Seowon University, said, “Attention is focusing on whether U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, South Chungcheong Governor Ahn Hee-jong and others will be able to maintain symbolic stature as potential presidential candidates.” Park Gwang-gi, a political science professor at Daejon University, said, “Veteran politicians and senior leaders from the Chungcheong region should help find a competent new political leader.”