SEOUL– Democratic Party (DP) members of a parliamentary confirmation hearing committee declared Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo as “unqualified” Friday, casting doubts about whether Han would take the post ahead of incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol’s inauguration.
Rep. Kang Byung-won of the DP told reporters that the party’s lawmakers at the committee decided that Han is “unqualified for a prime minister,” citing his post-retirement career at a law firm and other suspicions of irregularities.
Kang said the DP will soon hold a meeting where the DP committee’s decision will be debated, and the party will make a decision on whether to approve Han’s nomination.
Yoon is set to take office next Tuesday.
Han has been nominated as the first prime minster of the incoming government, but he has yet to receive the National Assembly’s approval to begin his job.
Cabinet appointments are subject to hearings but do not need parliamentary approval to take their posts, while prime minister is the only Cabinet post that requires parliamentary approval.
During the hearing that ended earlier this week, Han, who boasts more than 40 years of experience in public service, was grilled about alleged conflicts of interest related to his home rental in the 1990s and also the hefty salary he received as an adviser to law firm Kim &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Chang.
DP lawmakers raised suspicions of conflict of interest over Han’s house being rented to local affiliates of two U.S. companies pursuing business interests in the South Korean market in the 1990s when he was serving in high-ranking government positions in the trade sector.
Han denied any wrongdoing related to his home rental.
Source: Yonhap News Agency