SKorean Ministers Resign Ahead of Vote

Three South Korean Cabinet ministers resigned, officials said Monday, in a political shake-up ahead of December's presidential elections.

 SKorean Ministers Resign Ahead of Vote
The first was Justice Minister Kim Sung-ho, who disagreed with President Roh Moo-hyun's repeated violation of election laws instructing public officials to be neutral during campaigning.

Agriculture Minister Park Hong-soo resigned after his office came under fire from farmers opposing a free trade agreement with the United States that they argue will see an influx of cheap agricultural produce that will threaten their livelihood.

Information and Communication Minister Rho Jun-hyong also said he was stepping down, but offered no clear explanation.

Kim broke ranks with Roh in June after South Korea's election watchdog ruled that the president twice violated the law by lashing out at the opposition Grand National Party, which he accuses of corruption. Kim backed the election watchdog's decision and said it was constitutional, comments seen as being critical of the president.

South Korea holds presidential elections in December. Roh cannot run for re-election, having already served a maximum five-year term. He is due to step down in February.

The Grand National Party candidates -- former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak and the daughter of former military dictator Park Chung-hee -- hold a large lead in opinion polls, but the pro-government party has yet to nominate its candidate.

AP
Last Mod: 07 Ağustos 2007, 10:27
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