3 S Korea Cabinet appointees withdraw over ethics
Seoul: Three nominees for South Korean
Cabinet positions, including prime minister, withdrew from
consideration today amid a growing controversy over ethical
standards and alleged misconduct.
The withdrawals were a blow to President Lee Myung-bak
halfway through his five-year term. Earlier this month, he
nominated Kim Tae-ho, a former provincial governor, to be his
new prime minister in an extensive Cabinet reshuffle aimed at
restoring public support two months after his governing party
suffered a surprising defeat in mayoral and gubernatorial
Kim, 48, would have been South Korea`s youngest prime
minister in nearly 40 years. The post of prime minister is
largely ceremonial with little decision-making power, but the
person holding the position leads the country if the president
At a confirmation hearing last week, lawmakers grilled
Kim over his ties to a convicted businessman at the centre of
a high-profile bribery scandal. The opposition party accused
Kim of lying about his links to the man, though the
prosecution has cleared Kim of bribery charges.
Kim was also accused of having a government employee work
as a housekeeper at his home and illegally taking bank loans
to use as campaign funds while serving as governor of South
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