July 08, 2010 11:36
The Lee Myung-bak administration is aiming for social cohesion and political harmony with a focus on the welfare of the working class in the second half of the president's five-year tenure.
Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday announced an organizational reshuffle, mostly prompted by the ruling Grand National Party's clear defeat in the June 2 local elections.
The changes include eliminating the post of senior secretary for state affairs planning, which controlled major national projects such as the controversial Sejong City development plan. The government sought to revise the initial idea of building an administrative town in the Chungcheong region, but the related bill eventually failed to get through the National Assembly.
A new post, senior secretary for social integration, has been created to limit the effort wasted in fights over political issues and to create momentum for policies rather than political battles. A public relations office exclusively for promoting the government's overseas image and a secretary position for green growth have also been established.
The realignment follows the GNP's drubbing in the local elections, which analysts see as a sign that the public is not happy with the widening wealth gap, the government's lack of communication with the younger generation, and factional division within the GNP.
Presidential Senior Secretary for Public Affairs Lee Dong-kwan explained that the changes are aimed at better communicating with the public, readying promising industries for future competition, and executing working class-friendly policies more effectively.
With Presidential Chief of Staff Chung Chung-kil having offered to resign after the local elections, his replacement as well as other presidential secretaries to make up the new face of the top office are expected to be announced next week.
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