Seoul: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye`s nominee for prime minister withdrew his name today, following controversy over income which he amassed while practising law last year as a former Supreme Court justice.
The move is a fresh embarrassment for Park as she tries to reshuffle her government in response to intense criticism over its handling of last month`s Sewol ferry disaster.
The president had hand-picked Ahn Dai-Hee barely a week ago to replace Chung Hong-Won, who was forced to resign as prime minister in the wake of the Sewol tragedy.
But Ahn`s candidacy soon came under scrutiny amid suggestions that he had exploited his position as a former Supreme Court judge to earn USD 1.6 million in just five months after opening a legal office last July.
Ahn, 58, said he was stepping down to avoid causing problems for Park`s administration.
"It will be a burden to the government if I remain a nominee," he told reporters.
"I am sorry for causing concern to the president," he said, adding that he would return to the life "of an ordinary citizen".
His decision is a further setback for Park and her ruling Saenuri Party, which fears a voter backlash over the ferry disaster at nationwide local elections on June 4.