Who will be Yoon’s pick for next prime minister?

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, right, leaves the Government Complex  Seoul, Thursday, after he expressed his intention to resign to take responsibility for the ruling People Power Party's crushing defeat in the general elections. Yonhap

All attention is on President Yoon Suk Yeol’s pick to replace Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, who offered to resign as a gesture of accountability for the ruling People Power Party’s (PPP) crushing defeat in the general elections on Wednesday.The president has not approved Han’s resignation as of Friday afternoon, but sources at the presidential office said that the office is reportedly vetting possible candidates, following Yoon’s comments on Thursday that he will accept the election results and cooperate with the opposition.According to the presidential office, Friday, Yoon plans to announce his stance on the ruling party’s election defeat early next week, when he is expected to disclose how he will change his way of managing state affairs.Additionally, the replacement of key officials, including the prime minister, will be the symbolic start of such changes. Therefore, the nomination is anticipated to serve as a gauge indicating the sincerity of Yoon’s pledge to cooperate with the opposition and change his stubborn and unilateral governing style.

So far, Yoon has been putting loyalty and conservative ideology at the top when naming candidates for key government positions. However, Yoon’s aides are now reportedly encouraging him to pick a moderate figure with bipartisan appeal and political experience because appointing a prime minister requires approval from the National Assembly — meaning approval from the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) that has held the majority during the current 21st Assembly and will continue to do so during the next 22nd Assembly as well. The most mentioned candidate is Kim Han-gil, chairman of the Presidential Committee of National Cohesion. Kim is a former four-term lawmaker who has led a number of DPK predecessors, and has a close relationship with Yoon.Due to this bipartisan background, Kim has been often mentioned as Yoon’s possible pick for a position requiring bipartisan support. His close ties with the president can also help keep Yoon from losing his grip on power quickly. Appointing moderate PPP heavyweights is another option for Yoon. Rep. Joo Ho-young, who secured his sixth term during Wednesday’s elections, is known for his crisis management experience, having led the ruling party as an acting leader several times before.Rep. Kwon Young-se, who also clinched his fifth term, is categorized as a practical and moderate politician, due to his experiences of arbitrating factional infighting within the conservative bloc. Because he served as the unification minister until July last year and kept his distance from mudslinging partisan fights, political observers describe him as a balanced 스포츠토토존 candidate.

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