By Joori Roh
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s nominee for health minister, Chung Ho-young, on Monday withdrew his candidacy for the post, as public anger over allegations surrounding his children’s admissions into a medical school failed to die down.
Chung is the second nominee for a ministerial post to withdraw his candidacy this month, in a headache for new President Yoon Suk-yeol as he puts his administration together.
“Despite numerous allegations, no illegal or unfair acts have been found, and these suspicions have proven to be false through objective data and evidence. However, apart from this fact, there are concerns about points that do not match the public’s expectations, and I would like to humbly accept such points,” Chung said in a statement withdrawing his name.
The former head of Kyungpook National University Hospital had been under pressure to withdraw since soon after he was nominated last month by new President Yoon Suk-yeol.
That pressure emerged after media reports suggested that Chung’s high-level position at the hospital may have helped his children gain admission to the university’s medical school years ago.
Earlier this month, education minister nominee Kim In-chul also withdrew his candidacy amid allegations of favouritism related to his family members receiving Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States.
Yoon, a former prosecutor-general, came to prominence amid public anger over corruption scandals involving the administration of previous President Moon Jae-in.
(Reporting by Joori Roh; Editing by Hugh Lawson)