(Bloomberg) -- South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol created a new position for policy and replaced all five of his senior secretaries, just months before an election where his party is trying to regain control of parliament.
The policy office will be headed by Lee Kwan-sup, who had been a senior secretary for policy planning, the presidency said in a statement late Thursday. Other changes include Park Chunsup, who served as a board member at the Bank of Korea, moving into a role as the economic affairs secretary.
The new group will work to improve the livelihoods of the people, the presidency said, without giving specifics on policies. The members are expected to take office Monday, it added. Yoon is also expected to reshuffle his cabinet soon, possibly replacing his finance and foreign ministers, Yonhap News Agency reported.
If Yoon’s conservative People Power Party takes control of parliament in the election set for April, it is likely to push through economic policies that include taking on powerful labor unions, reducing regulations on businesses, and tax cuts for companies and on real estate transactions.
Yoon’s support rate has been in the mid-30% range for months and the PPP has been looking to increase its appeal ahead of the vote. South Korean president’s serve a single, five-year term and if the PPP remains in the minority in parliament, Yoon would likely face gridlock for the remainder of his presidency.
Read: South Korean President Suffers Setback in Seoul Election
The progressive Democratic Party, which holds a majority in the unicameral National Assembly, has been facing difficulties for months as its leader Lee Jae-myung has been indicted on graft charges. Some party members are concerned Lee has become a liability and may not be able to focus his attention on the election while embroiled in a prolonged legal battle.
--With assistance from Shinhye Kang and Seyoon Kim.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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