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South Korean PM nominee Kim Tae-ho withdraws candidacy

Kim Tae-ho (left) was seen as a possible replacement for President Myung-bak (right)

(KATAKAMI / BBC) — The man nominated to be South Korea’s new prime minister has withdrawn his candidacy amid allegations about past financial irregularities.

Kim Tae-ho faced questions from lawmakers at his confirmation hearing last week about suspected misconduct when he was a provincial governor.

At 47, Mr Kim was the youngest person to be nominated for the largely ceremonial post.

He was put forward by South Korea’s president earlier this month.

Chores

Mr Kim is accused of under-reporting his income while he was governor of Gyeongsang province, that he illegally took bank loans to fund political campaigns.

Mr Kim was also criticised by lawmakers for making local government employees do his household chores.

His wife was also criticised for using provincial government employees and vehicles for her own private use.

“I am giving up the designation in order not to do more damage to the president’s political operations,” Mr Kim said.

“Even if I become prime minister, how could I do anything if I do not have the people’s trust?” He said.

President Lee Myung-bak nominated Mr Kim in an attempt to connect with a younger generation of South Koreans.

Mr Kim was being groomed as a possible replacement to lead the ruling Grand National Party after President Myung-bak’s five year term ends in just over two years time, correspondents said.

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