MB picks aides to prepare for 2012

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MB picks aides to prepare for 2012

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Kim Hyo-jae / Kim Du-woo


President Lee Myung-bak reshuffled his secretariat yesterday, replacing key aides handling political and public affairs to better prepare for next April’s legislative elections and to get a surer grip on the government for the final 16 months of his presidency.

Lee chose two former journalists to manage his office’s political and public affairs in a reshuffle that followed the ruling Grand National Party’s by-election defeats in April.

Grand National Party Representative Kim Hyo-jae, a former Chosun Ilbo journalist and editorial writer, was named senior secretary to the president for political affairs, replacing Chung Jin-suk. After working for the newspaper since 1979, Kim, 59, won a legislative election in 2008 to represent Seongbuk B District of Seoul on the GNP ticket.

Kim Du-woo, a former JoongAng Ilbo journalist who has been working as secretary to the president for planning and coordination, was named senior secretary to the president for public affairs, replacing Hong Sang-pyo. The 54-year-old Kim worked for the newspaper since 1983 until he joined Lee’s presidential team in February 2008.

“After the April by-elections, the president said it was desirable for aides with political ambitions to begin preparation for the April legislative elections in the field,” said Presidential Chief of Staff Yim Tae-hee. “To reflect that intent, the political and public affairs offices were reshuffled.”

Lee also replaced 10 other presidential secretaries yesterday. Chang Dasaro, secretary for civil affairs, was named secretary for planning and coordination, succeeding Kim Du-woo. Shin Hak-su, secretary for administrative affairs, will succeed Chang. Park Jeong-ha was named the new presidential spokesman, replacing Kim Hee-jung. Park was head of the presidential press center, Chunchugwan. Kim Hyeong-jun, who has been working at the protocol office of the Blue House, was promoted to lead the press center.

The outgoing secretaries were talented people who had worked hard for the government, Yim said. The president made the decision to reposition them to prep for the elections, while improving the Blue House’s teamwork, he said.

While some aides departed to pursue their own political aspirations, Yim said no more are planning to leave the Blue House to run for office. Asked if he was going to run for the legislature, Yim said, “How can I be an exception?”

Yim, who won three elections to represent Bundang B District of Gyeonggi, joined the Lee administration in 2009 to work as labor minister. He gave up his seat in July 2010 to join the Blue House as chief of staff.

The overhaul was smaller than anticipated. Ahead of the announcement, Representative Kim Hyo-jae told his GNP colleagues about his decision to accept Lee’s offer for the new job. “The president has appointed me to this job with a directive to smoothly manage the relationship between the Blue House and the ruling party,” he said.

While some said it was admirable of Kim to give up his legislative post, others were critical of the decision. Since no by-election will take place until next year’s legislative election, Kim’s district will remain unrepresented for 10 months.

Critics also said Kim, a first-term lawmaker, was not enough of a heavyweight to handle sensitive political issues.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [연합]
李대통령, 김효재 ㆍ김두우 일찌감치 낙점

이임 정진석 정무ㆍ홍상표 홍보 사무실에 들러 격려
이명박 대통령은 청와대를 함께 이끌고 갈 '쌍두마차'인 정무수석ㆍ홍보수석 감에 한나라당 김효재 의원과 김두우 기획관리실장을 일찌감치 낙점했던 것으로 9일 전해졌다.

이 대통령은 집권 후반기 당ㆍ청간 원활한 소통을 위해 신임 정무수석의 양대 조건으로 국회의원 경력을 갖춰 국회와 가교 역할을 할 수 있을 뿐만 아니라 정권에 충성도가 높은 인물을 염두에 뒀던 것으로 알려졌다.

이 대통령은 김 의원이 30년 가까운 언론인 생활을 거쳤고 대선 캠프 때도 활동해 이 같은 기준에 적합하다고 판단, 이미 한달전 "함께 일해보자"는 제안을 했다고 한다.

하지만 내년 4월 총선에 출마하려 했던 김 의원은 이 대통령의 제안을 정중히 고사했고, 이 때문에 청와대는 한때 다른 인물을 물색하기도 했다는 후문이다.


그러나 결국 이 대통령은 지난 2일 김 의원을 청와대로 불러 다시 한번 "당신 밖에 없다"는 뜻을 전했고, 김 의원은 이 대통령의 간곡한 제의를 결국 받아들일 수밖에 없었다고 한다.

김두우 홍보수석 내정자 역시 지난해 청와대 개편 때도 홍보수석에 거론될 만큼 자질과 능력이 검증돼 이번 인사에서 별다른 경쟁자가 없었던 것으로 전해졌다.

정무수석 내정자는 현역 의원이고, 홍보수석 내정자는 임기초부터 청와대에서 근무했던 만큼 재산 및 도덕성 검증도 쉽게 통과한 것으로 알려졌다.

이번 청와대 인사 개편에서 재임 기간이 오래된 일부 정책 분야 수석의 교체가 정설처럼 여겨졌으나 일반의약품의 슈퍼 판매와 같은 현안이 남아있는 데다 마땅한 후임을 찾지 못해 발표에서 제외됐던 것으로 알려졌다.

김희정 대변인은 한국인터넷진흥원장 경력 등을 살려 관계 비서관으로 근무하는 방안을 한때 희망했으나 김 대변인의 출마를 강력히 원하는 부산 연제 지역민의 요구를 외면할 수 없어 결국 청와대를 떠나기로 했다.

한편, 이 대통령은 오후 정진석 정무수석과 홍상표 홍보수석의 사무실을 직접 방문해 비서관들과도 일일이 인사를 나누며 그동안 노고를 치하했던 것으로 전해졌다.
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