[ED] Vet nominees thoroughly

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[ED] Vet nominees thoroughly

President must honor results of Assembly hearings

The National Assembly is expected to begin confirmation hearings for President Moon Jae-in's seven nominees for ministerial posts soon. Cheong Wa Dae hopes to launch Moon's second Cabinet before the Chuseok holiday by finalizing hearing procedures by early September.

Yet it remains to be seen whether the hearings will proceed smoothly. The ruling and opposition parties are poles apart on the assessment of the liberal President's Aug. 9 reshuffle. Some in the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) even insist on boycotting the hearings.

At the center of the latest partisan brawl is Cho Kuk, one of Moon's trusted aides, who was nominated for justice minister Friday. The LKP expressed its strong opposition to Cho's nomination, saying, "This amounts to a declaration of war against the opposition." By contrast, the governing Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) defended Cho as a figure fit to complete the judiciary reform, one of the President's top agenda items.

The opposition is obliged to vet Cho thoroughly, given a plethora of questions raised against him. To begin with, it is essential to confirm the suitability of naming a former member of an allegedly anti-state organization as justice minister, who is required to ensure the rule of law. Lawmakers also must delve into suspicions over his plagiarism, wealth and failure to vet candidates when he served as the presidential secretary for civil affairs.

What's worrisome though is that controversy might erupt again over whether the hearings are necessary in the National Assembly because the process is nonbinding. President Moon has appointed 17 minister-level officials so far, although the Assembly failed to adopt confirmation reports for them. The chance is high that the rival parties would also disagree on Cho's qualification, given the severity of partisan wrangling even before his hearing.

The parties must prepare fully to vet Cho and other nominees objectively and precisely with enough evidence. President Moon also should honor the results of the hearings.


President must honor results of Assembly hearings

The National Assembly is expected to begin confirmation hearings for President Moon Jae-in's seven nominees for ministerial posts soon. Cheong Wa Dae hopes to launch Moon's second Cabinet before the Chuseok holiday by finalizing hearing procedures by early September.

Yet it remains to be seen whether the hearings will proceed smoothly. The ruling and opposition parties are poles apart on the assessment of the liberal President's Aug. 9 reshuffle. Some in the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) even insist on boycotting the hearings.

At the center of the latest partisan brawl is Cho Kuk, one of Moon's trusted aides, who was nominated for justice minister Friday. The LKP expressed its strong opposition to Cho's nomination, saying, "This amounts to a declaration of war against the opposition." By contrast, the governing Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) defended Cho as a figure fit to complete the judiciary reform, one of the President's top agenda items.

The opposition is obliged to vet Cho thoroughly, given a plethora of questions raised against him. To begin with, it is essential to confirm the suitability of naming a former member of an allegedly anti-state organization as justice minister, who is required to ensure the rule of law. Lawmakers also must delve into suspicions over his plagiarism, wealth and failure to vet candidates when he served as the presidential secretary for civil affairs.

What's worrisome though is that controversy might erupt again over whether the hearings are necessary in the National Assembly because the process is nonbinding. President Moon has appointed 17 minister-level officials so far, although the Assembly failed to adopt confirmation reports for them. The chance is high that the rival parties would also disagree on Cho's qualification, given the severity of partisan wrangling even before his hearing.

The parties must prepare fully to vet Cho and other nominees objectively and precisely with enough evidence. President Moon also should honor the results of the hearings.




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