South Korean president picks new prime minister

The South Korean President has elected justice minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as new prime minister.

South Korean president picks new prime minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean President Park Geun-hye replaced uncertainty with uproar Thursday, as her choice to become the country’s next prime minister immediately came under criticism from political opponents.

Justice Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is the man in line to succeed Lee Wan-koo, who resigned last month -- just a few weeks into the job -- after becoming embroiled in a bribery scandal.

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) swiftly lambasted Park’s latest pick to become South Korea’s second-in-command.

“The nomination is beyond acceptance,” NPAD spokesperson Kim Yung-rok told reporters, as the opposition was already unhappy with the minister’s oversight of investigations into key government officials.

Hwang’s other notable actions include helping to shut down the minor opposition Unified Progressive Party, which he accused of being “cancerous” and a “stronghold of pro-North Korean groups.”

He also came under fire last year for advocating the early release of jailed business tycoons.

The nominee is expected to enjoy the support of the ruling Saenuri Party in an upcoming parliamentary hearing, but the NPAD has warned that the process will be “exhaustive.”

Since taking office just over two years ago, the president has already seen a series of nominations for ministerial positions fall away under pressure over ethical lapses.

But Park has chosen former prosecutor Hwang in part because of her desire to eradicate corruption, according to the presidential office.

The man himself told a press briefing that he felt a “heavy responsibility” -- time will tell whether he will be more successful than his predecessor, who declared a war on corruption before being indicted only this week.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mayıs 2015, 13:35