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Education, culture minister nominees unlikely to win parliamentary approval

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Published : 2014-07-11 11:32
Updated : 2014-07-11 11:32

The nominees for education and culture ministers appeared unlikely to win parliamentary approval Friday amid the opposition party's refusal to adopt reports on their confirmation hearings.

Kim Myung-soo, the nominee for education minister, and Chung Sung-keun, the nominee for culture minister, have been accused of plagiarism of theses and drunken driving, respectively, among other things.

Amid growing calls for their resignation, the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) formally asked President Park Geun-hye Thursday to reconsider the two nominees as well as other controversial candidates for the Cabinet.

Park said she would consider the request, but she is seen to have little room for maneuver as a withdrawal would be another setback following two failed nominations for prime minister in months.

Park conducted a partial Cabinet reshuffle last month to revamp her embattled government following April's deadly ferry sinking that claimed the lives of over 300 people, mostly high school students.

On Friday, NPAD lawmakers boycotted a meeting of the parliamentary education, culture and sports committee in protest of the nominations.

The committee had been scheduled to meet to discuss whether to adopt reports on the confirmation hearings for Kim and Chung, which took place earlier this week.

"The nominees don't meet the standards for discussion of whether to adopt reports," Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon of NPAD said. "For now, the situation does not allow us to attend a committee meeting to adopt reports."

Rep. Shin Sung-bum of the ruling Saenuri Party said the rival parties were in disagreement over the conclusion of the reports, with the opposition party demanding they describe the nominees as unfit for the jobs and the ruling party objecting to that.

"The opposition party said it would boycott the meeting so the adoption of the reports fell through," he said.

The president is legally empowered to press ahead with the appointments if the National Assembly fails to adopt the reports by next Monday, the last day of the 20-day period for parliamentary confirmation following the government's request for a hearing.

The prime minister is the only Cabinet post that requires parliamentary approval. (Yonhap)

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