Hearings continue for nominees

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Hearings continue for nominees

Parliamentary confirmation hearings to grill President Lee Myung-bak’s minister-designates will continue from today until Thursday this week, with more friction between those questioned and lawmakers expected.

Two ministers-designate for the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Labor spent the first day of the public hearings last Friday defending themselves against allegations of wrongdoing from lawmakers.

The atmosphere is expected to become fiercer at the National Assembly later this week because Kim is being suspected of bribery and tax fraud. Cho is also expected to face tough questions as he has been caught up in a recent scandal for making insulting remarks toward the families of the victims of the sunken Cheonan.

Lee Jae-oh (minister without portfolio) will be joining Cho Hyun-oh (commissioner of the National Police Agency), and Lee Ju-ho, Chin Soo-hee, and Yoo Jeong-bok (ministers of education, welfare and agriculture) today.

Shin Jae-min (minister of culture) is up tomorrow, Kim Tae-ho (prime minister) from Wednesday to Thursday and Lee Hyun-dong (National Tax Service commissioner) on Friday.

Although the hearings cannot ultimately block the nominations, the Democratic Party has declared it is determined to stop a maximum three candidates from taking their positions.

The ruling Grand National Party said it will block any political attacks from the Democratic Party.

By Christine Kim [christine.kim@joongang.co.kr]
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