New Prime Minister Nominee Wanted Quickly
SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Thursday called on the parliament to quickly recommend a new prime minister candidate to prevent any administrative vacuum, as Seoul is scurrying to build ties with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
The appeal came a day after opposition parties turned down President Park Geun-hye's offer to appoint a parliament-picked premier, pressuring Park to declare she will retreat from state affairs.
Park made the proposal to break a political impasse sparked by a corruption scandal involving her confidante. But opposition parties have continued to raise doubts over whether the president will relinquish as much authority to a new premier as she has indicated.
"(Cheong Wa Dae) will continue communication and consultations with the National Assembly (over the prime minister nomination)," presidential spokesman Jung Youn-kuk told reporters.'
On Tuesday, Park virtually jettisoned her own pick for new premier, and said she will allow a premier recommended by parliament to take "effectual control" of the Cabinet.
This move, however, fell short of defusing a political deadlock with the opposition parties, which demand Park publicly assure she will take a backseat to the premier.
"When the effectual control of the Cabinet is guaranteed for a prime minister, this will meet the demand for the establishment of a neutral Cabinet," a presidential official said on the condition of anonymity.
"To prevent any government vacuum, we are in dire need of cooperation from political circles."
Later in the day, Park held a telephone conversation with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump stressed that the United States will remain "steadfast and strong" in defending against an increasingly provocative North Korea.
After Republican Trump was seen as winning the White House in a race against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, the presidential office convened a National Security Council session to discuss the possible ramifications of Trump's election as the 45th U.S. president.
Seoul officials have been carefully following the election as it is likely to influence South Korea's diplomatic and economic ties with its superpower ally.