[EDITORIALS]Political Appointments Must Cease

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[EDITORIALS]Political Appointments Must Cease

It is embarrassing to see the ruling party repeatedly making excuses and employing political maneuvers to dodge press criticisms of political appointments at public corporations. A spokesman of the ruling Millennium Democratic Party said, "Public company presidents appointed this year are mostly experts," and only a few are politicians. He also proposed a public comparisons of public company management and personnel appointments in the three years of this administration to those in the 20 years of Grand National Party rule. This is a fantasy.

The ruling party's argument is that political appointments were more frequent and flagrant during past administrations. Yet the MDP, which insisted on the reform of public companies at the beginning of its term, cannot persist in such an argument. It is arguing that the GNP has no right to criticize actions it engaged in itself in the past.

The ruling party's assertion that most of the appointees are specialists in their fields does not make sense either. Of the executives of 10 public companies appointed since April, most were from politics, the bureaucracy, the military and the police. There is hardly any appointee who has a publicly-know specialty. Because the situation is so lamentable, one person even commented sarcastically that the Ministry of Construction and Transportation is a training ground for United Liberal Democrats to practice their parachuting. Reform in public companies begins with selecting able and responsible management. Even as the government speaks highly of reform and emphasizes restructuring and transparent management, reform cannot be aided by political appointments.

The ruling party had focused its criticism on political appointments when it was in opposition, and after coming into power, it repeatedly assured the public that it would not engaged in such misbehavior. Before the end of the first half of this year, 60 public company presidents will finish their terms, creating posts available for new appointments.

We urge the government to work seriously for public sector reform, and silence the critics of political appointments by not making any more of them.

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