Park's close aide selected as ruling party's secretary general
A four-term lawmaker close to leading presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye was selected Monday as the secretary general of the ruling Saenuri Party in a move expected to further consolidate Park's grip over the party seven months ahead of the presidential vote.
The selection of Rep. Suh Byung-soo as secretary general is seen as completing a sweep of top party posts by those loyal to Park after the election of Rep. Hwang Woo-yea as party chief and Rep. Lee Hahn-koo as floor leader.
Suh will be in charge of the party's budget and other general affairs.
"I believe (Suh) will transcend anything else and focus on preparations for the presidential election," party chairman Hwang said in a Supreme Council meeting, recommending Suh for secretary general, according to party officials.
The Council also appointed a journalist-turned-lawmaker, Rep. Kim Young-woo, as its spokesman.
"I will try to be the heart of the Saenuri Party so that we can communicate better with the people about the values and visions we pursue," new spokesman Kim said.
Park has not formally announced her presidential bid, but few doubt she will run for president.
Park consolidated her standing as a leading presidential hopeful of the party after rebuilding the once-beleaguered party with sweeping reform measures and leading it to a widely unexpected victory in last month's general elections. (Yonhap)