President Moon Jae-in will ask a parliamentary committee to adopt its report on the outcome of its confirmation hearing on his pick for the venture minister by early next week, his aide said Wednesday.
The publication of the report is a key procedure before Moon officially appoints Hong Jong-haak, the nominee for the SMEs and startups minister. But the committee has failed to adopt it due to opposition parties' objections.
Should the committee refuse to adopt the report by the new Monday deadline, the president can press ahead with Hong's appointment. But the appointment without parliamentary support could inflame the opposition bloc.
|This photo, taken on Nov. 10, 2017, shows Venture Minister nominee Hong Jong-haak attending a parliamentary confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul. (Yonhap)|
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, taking issue with his family's property inheritance and his past controversial remarks.
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." (Yonhap)