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Democratic Party vows to scrutinize PM nominee

Posted April. 05, 2022 07:51,   

Updated April. 05, 2022 07:51


The ruling Democratic Party of Korea declared to make a detailed scrutiny into the confirmation of Han Deok-soo, the candidate for the South Korean prime minister, dismissing his experiences from the previous administrations. The members of the DPK mounted offensives against Mr. Han, who served in major posts during the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations, mockingly labeling him as “old boy,” “prime minister for election only,” and “puppet prime minister.”

“We won’t repeat the past mistakes of the People Power Party by pursuing blind slandering and mud-slinging,” said Yoon Ho-joong, the chairman of the DPK’s joint emergency committee during a meeting in Busan Monday. “But we will thoroughly verify if he is qualified enough to lead the cabinet in harmony through the difficulties that we are faced with in and outside, and his moral compass meets the expectations of the people.”

“His past experiences from the successive governments are not important. Their expectation lies in the future, not in the past,” said Floor Leader Park Hong-geun. “We are looking for someone with the philosophy and the capacity for statecrafts so that he can tackle the challenges our country is faced with such as bipolarization and low growth while addressing the epoch-defining issues such as cyclical pandemics, climate change, and energy and digital transformations.” Notwithstanding his rich political experiences, the ruling party intends to verify further if his skill sets are fully aligned with the changing demands of the times. The ruling floor leader said he will put together a task force to make thorough preparations for Han’s confirmation hearing.

Reportedly, the Democratic Party is paying particular attention to the time when the candidate was away from public service, serving as president of KITA and outside director of S-OIL after stepping down from the post of ambassador to the U.S. in 2012. “Considering that he served as prime minister and deputy prime minister for our leftist governments in the past, it won’t be easy for us to reject his appointment unless some serious problems are revealed by the confirmation hearing,” said Woo Sang-ho, a lawmaker from ruling Minjoo Party. “The crosshair would be aimed at how he spent his life after stepping down from public posts. That is the point that we need to revisit.”

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com