A confirmation hearing for Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo was adjourned 39 minutes after it began on Monday amid a boycott by the Democratic Party (DP) and the Justice Party. The DP and the Justice Party did not attend the hearing, saying Han did not submit all the documents requested while the People Power Party (PPP) argued that they are trying to hold back the new government.
“No documents, no position. No verification means no confirmation,” the DP’s Emergency Committee Chair Yoon Ho-jung said during a meeting held before the confirmation hearing. “If someone who wishes to be prime minister refuses to be verified by the people, our party will reject the ineligible prime minister nominee in the name of the people.”
The special hearing committee members belonging to the DP and the Justice Party were not present at the hearing. Only one lawmaker from the DP, Kang Byung-won, attended the hearing to criticize the PPP for unilaterally starting the hearing. After leaving the hearing, Rep. Kang held a press conference and said the people will not accept a nominee who refuses to submit the details of his and his wife’s transaction information.
“The PPP argues the Democratic Party makes much tougher document requests to the nominee, but it has no choice but to do so because there are countless allegations surrounding Han,” Rep. Kang said. “The allegations include expensive fees he received from Kim & Chang while working as an advisor for the law firm, hundreds of millions of rental income from a foreign company, intervention in the Lone Star case, and conflicts of interest with the sale of his wife’s art works.”
In response, Rep. Jeon Joo-hye of the People Power Party said the two parties are making unreasonable document requests, like asking to get wild berries in the middle of the winter, adding as a nominee, former PM Lee Nak-yon did not submit some of the documents for privacy reasons. A PPP official said the party will try to persuade the DP as much as possible, but at the same time will not stop criticizing the party for holding back the new government.
It is predicted within the DP that the confirmation hearing for Interior and Safety Minister nominee Lee Sang-min and Industry Minister nominee Lee Chang-yang is likely to be boycotted as well. A DP official said the submitted data is insufficient or insincere in many cases compared to the allegations raised, adding proper verification is impossible at the moment.
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