South Korean lawmakers approve new premier

Updated: 2015-06-18 11:33


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SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's ruling party-controlled legislation has approved President Park Geun-hye's choice for prime minister to end a lengthy merry-go-round at the country's No. 2 job caused by political wrangling and corruption scandals.

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the appointment of Hwang Kyo-ahn with a 156-120 vote. Two lawmakers abstained. Hwang has been the country's justice minister and will succeed Lee Wan Koo, who resigned in April amid allegations that he received bribes from a businessman who committed suicide weeks earlier. Lee in February had replaced Chung Hong-won who stepped down over the government's criticized handling of a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people last year.

South Korea's executive power is concentrated in the president, but the prime minister leads the country if the president becomes incapacitated.