Assembly votes to confirm Kim as PM

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Assembly votes to confirm Kim as PM

The National Assembly confirmed Kim Hwang-sik as the new prime minister yesterday despite negative votes by opposition parties, including the Democratic Party, which claimed the candidate lacked moral and ethical standards because he didn’t do his compulsory military service and was the subject of past allegations of influence-peddling.

Kim, a former Supreme Court justice and head of the Board of Audit and Inspection, became the third prime minister since the Lee Myung-bak government was inaugurated in 2008, and his appointment ends a 51-day vacancy in the cabinet. Former Prime Minister-designate Kim Tae-ho had to withdraw his nomination on Aug. 29 after corruption allegations dominated his confirmation hearings.

Of the 244 assembly members present, Kim Hwang-sik received 169 positive votes and 71 against. Four voters abstained.

Earlier yesterday, the Democrats adopted an official position to oppose Kim’s appointment, but the ruling Grand National Party outnumbers the opposition in the assembly. The GNP controls 172 seats in the 299-member assembly, while the main opposition DP holds 87.

Kim is the first prime minister to hail from South Jeolla Province, the opposition’s stronghold.

Kim passed the bar exam in 1972 and graduated from the Judicial Research and Training Institute at the head of his class. He was appointed as a judge in September 1974 and appointed to head the Board of Audit and Inspection in 2009 after serving on the Seoul High Court, Gwangju District Court, the Office of Court Administration and the Supreme Court.


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