The 18th speaker for the National Assembly was elected on Tuesday. Park Hee-tae was nominated as the sole candidate for the position by the ruling Grand National Party a day earlier and won with 236 out of 249 votes. He will lead the nation's legislature over the next two years.
Park will be taking over from his predecessor Kim Hyung-o with the two vice-speaker posts going to Chung Ui-hwa of the GNP and Hong Jae-hyong of the main opposition Democratic Party.
Park, 72, was born in Namhae, South Gyeongsang Province and is a law graduate of Seoul National University. In 1988 he became spokesman of the GNP and was re-elected six consecutive times, during which he became well known for his witty remarks.
He became Minister of Justice in 1993 and in July 2008 was elected GNP chairman by winning a national convention over lawmaker Chung Mong-joon.
Chairpersons for 18 standing committees were also chosen on Tuesday, with 11 allocated to the GNP, six to the DP and one to the Liberty Forward Party.