A parliamentary committee failed Monday to adopt a report on the outcome of its confirmation hearing on Venture Minister-nominee Hong Jong-haak due to opposition parties' objection.
The publication of the report is a key procedure before President Moon Jae-in officially appoints the nominee. Without the publication, Moon can press ahead with his appointment, but the move will likely inflame the opposition bloc.
The main opposition Liberty Korea Party and People's Party have called the former economics professor and lawmaker unfit for leading the newly minted Ministry of SMEs and Startups, taking issue with his family's property inheritance and his past controversial remarks.
|This photo, taken on Nov. 10, 2017, shows SMEs Minister-nominee Hong Jong-haak speaking during a parliamentary confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)|
They have zeroed in on his wife and daughter's inheritance of property from his mother-in-law, which may not be illegal but contradicts his long-held position against large transfers of wealth among relatives.
Hong was also denounced for past comments that disparaged those who did not graduate from top-tier universities. Further complicating the confirmation process was his past criticism of family-run conglomerates as "cancer cells" that hurt small businesses.
The ruling Democratic Party has pleaded for bipartisan cooperation in approving Moon's last Cabinet nominee, dismissing a flurry of accusations against Hong as "prejudice and misconceptions."
During the hearing on Friday, Hong pledged to remove onerous regulations, protect small firms from technology extortion and turn them into growth dynamos, but opposition attacks eclipsed his policy vision. (Yonhap)