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Yoon, Ahn reconcile after nominations spat


President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (right) and presidential transition committee chairman Ahn Cheol-soo attend a transition team meeting on Friday. (Yonhap)

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (right) and presidential transition committee chairman Ahn Cheol-soo attend a transition team meeting on Friday. (Yonhap)

Yoon’s office says president-elect will pay more attention to Ahn, who said recommendations were ignored

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and transition committee chief Ahn Cheol-soo resolved their differences following a fallout over Cabinet nominations, Yoon’s spokesperson said Friday.

“The dinner meeting took place in a very friendly atmosphere for the two (Yoon and Ahn) to reaffirm of their joint goal for a coalition government,” Bae Hyun-jin, Yoon’s spokesperson said during a regular press briefing.

Yoon’s Cabinet nominations, completed Thursday, appeared to have bypassed Ahn’s personnel recommendations, prompting Ahn to cancel a meeting with Yoon and public activities Thursday.

Prior to Bae’s briefing, Ahn told reporters that there had been an incident that “could have hurt” his joint goals with Yoon, but that they have resolved their differences.

“There was an incident that could have hurt the spirit of the coalition government, but we have shared the views that there should not be another disappointment for the people,” Ahn said Friday morning.

“The job as the transition team chairman is a solemn duty for the future of the nation and the people so I will do my best to complete the term for the country.”

According to Ahn, he agreed with Yoon to communicate better in managing the personnel and managing state affairs in overall, during the dinner meeting on Thursday.

“We also agreed that I will give more advice on, and manage the fields of medical health care, science, technology, small- and medium-sized ventures and education, with my expertise (in those areas).”

Yoon’s spokesperson also said that the president-elect’s office would also take in more of Ahn’s opinions for the remaining personnel appointments, including vice-ministers.

Signs of a rift between Yoon and Ahn had also raised concerns against smooth merger of the People Power Party, which Yoon is a member of, and Ahn’s People’s Party. Yoon’s office said it will send a staff to the National Assembly to assist the merger.

“Yoon has also been strongly expressing his desire for the party merger to proceed quickly, so that the administration and the party will be able to closely communicate,” Bae said.

“The presidential transition team will send an official to the National Assembly for the merger of the two parties, to deliver the president-elect’s message for the two parties to make efforts to smoothly carry out the merger.”

Ahn, who had contended in the presidential election against Yoon, had given up his candidacy to declare support for Yoon. Yoon and Ahn agreed that they would join hands to form “a coalition government,” and merge their parties.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)





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