DP adamant against prime minister

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DP adamant against prime minister

The opposition Democratic Party said it will file a petition to prosecutors demanding an investigation of Prime Minister-designate Kim Tae-ho over allegations he violated at least eight laws.

The DP said Kim is “unfit” to perform the prime minister’s duties, and rendered the same verdict on Culture Minister-designate Shin Jae-min and National Police Agency commissioner-nominee Cho Hyun-oh.

In a meeting with lawmakers yesterday, DP floor leader Park Jie-won said the party opposes nominees who have fiddled with their residence registrations, evaded taxes and military service, speculated on real estate or duplicated passages from old theses in research work.

“We will oppose any appointees that fall short of this criteria,” Park said. “We will stick to principles.”

Park said since the DP can’t block the appointment of most nominees, it will concentrate its efforts on derailing Kim as prime minister. The prime minister must be confirmed by a majority of votes in a National Assembly session attended by at least half of the Assembly’s 299 members. The ruling Grand National Party holds 172 seats in the Assembly.

GNP floor leader Kim Moo-sung said he will negotiate with the opposition.

“The DP and other opposition parties will be criticized for picking on minor faults of candidates, which seems to be a way of interrupting state affairs,” Kim said.

Kim Tae-ho was suspected of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars from Busan-based businessman Park Yeon-cha in April 2007 but was cleared of charges last year.

Culture Minister-designate Shin was criticized in his confirmation hearing for breaking the residence registration law four times.

And national police chief-designate Cho is under fire for saying that the late former President Roh Moo-hyun committed suicide because he discovered an illegal slush fund.

Meanwhile, DP lawmakers gave green lights to Lee Jae-oh (minister without portfolio), Yoo Jeong-bok (minister of agriculture) and Bahk Jae-wan (minister of labor).

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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