S. Korea's House approves new premier

The National Assembly yesterday voted 164 to 20 in favour of Mr Lee Nak Yon as the new prime minister.
The National Assembly yesterday voted 164 to 20 in favour of Mr Lee Nak Yon as the new prime minister.

SEOUL • South Korea's parliament yesterday approved Mr Lee Nak Yon as the country's new prime minister, paving the way for President Moon Jae In to replace ministers appointed by his ousted predecessor Park Geun Hye.

The National Assembly voted 164 to 20 in favour of Mr Lee, a journalist-turned-politician, as new prime minister, amid a boycott by the conservative opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP).

All 107 lawmakers of the LKP stayed away as the motion to endorse the prime minister-nominee was put to a vote.

Mr Lee has been dogged by allegations, among other things, that his wife used a false address in 1989 to get assigned to a school in Seoul as a teacher.

Under South Korea's strong presidential system, the prime ministerial job is largely symbolic and ceremonial.

With the new prime minister taking office, the left-leaning President Moon can go ahead with installing his own Cabinet to replace the conservative line-up appointed by Park.

Park has been impeached and arrested over a corruption scandal that saw millions of protesters taking to the streets.

Mr Moon has already named ministers for key posts, including the head of the country's spy agency, the foreign minister and economic ministerial posts.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2017, with the headline 'S. Korea's House approves new premier'. Print Edition | Subscribe