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(LEAD) Confirmation hearing for PM nominee set for Sept. 29-30

All Headlines 11:52 September 17, 2010

(ATTN: UPDATES with Cheong Wa Dae's briefing in paras 4-7)

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Rival parties on Friday agreed to hold a parliamentary confirmation hearing for Prime Minister nominee Kim Hwang-sik on Sept. 29-30, according to party officials.

Kim, head of the Board of Audit and Inspection and a former Supreme Court justice, was named by President Lee Myung-bak as his new prime minister on Thursday.

Following the two-day confirmation hearing, the ruling and opposition parties will hold the National Assembly's plenary session on Oct. 1 to vote on whether to approve Kim's nomination, the officials said.

The presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, said it submitted to the National Assembly a motion on Kim's nomination Thursday night, which was earlier than expected.

"I was told that the ruling and opposition parties have formed a special committee for the confirmation hearing," Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung told reporters. Cheong Wa Dae appreciates their efforts to facilitate the process to minimize a vacuum in state affairs, she added.

Kim said the National Assembly would now be able to hold the confirmation hearing within 15 days after the motion is submitted, as required by law.

It took 26 days for lawmakers to open the session for the previous prime minister Chung Un-chan, she pointed out.

The post of prime minister has remained vacant since Chung resigned in early August. President Lee designated former South Gyeongsang Province Governor Kim Tae-ho as his prime minister last month but Kim was forced to withdraw amid allegations of corruption.


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