August 09, 2002 10:14
President Kim Da-jung named Chang Dae-hwan, the president of Maeil Business Newspaper as the new acting Prime Minister Friday morning, nine days after his predecessor Chang Sang was denied confirmation at the National Assembly. Cheong Wa Dae Chief Secretary Park Jie-won said the new acting prime minister is expected to make a huge contribution in developing nation's economy by introducing voices from market into government operation.
The 50 year-old Chang obtained a doctorate in international business management at New York University and served for the Maeil Business Newspaper since 1988.
President Kim's choice of a man in his 50s has shocked senior civil servants as the average age of the cabinet is in the mid 60s, and he has not had experience in government. They feel that he will be unable to control the cabinet and so direct dealing between ministers and Cheong Wa Dae will take place.
Cheong Wa Dae, however, called Chang a CEO of vision with an international perspective and a dynamic character for reform.
With the Grand National Party now having an absolute majority, the opposition party will have the upper hand in Chang's confirmation hearing, and Suh Chon-won has already called the appointment arrogant. But analysts say unless there are any major problems, Chang should get confirmed as the GNP do not want to risk being accused of the same thing in the wake of its election win.
(Kim MIn-bai, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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