[EDITORIALS]Problematic appointments

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[EDITORIALS]Problematic appointments

The “parachute” appointments of those defeated in recent elections have gone too far. It has been reported that as many as 31 people have been brought into the government or related institutions after losing the April 15 National Assembly elections last year and the June 15 by-elections this year.
Among them, 25 people, or 80 percent of the appointees, are said to be natives of the Gyeongsang provinces, which shows the imbalance in such appointments. The government is planning to relocate state-run agencies around the country in the name of balanced national development, but in personnel matters it is taking care only of the Gyeongsang provinces, which leads to skepticism about its true motive in promoting balanced development.
President Roh Moo-hyun insisted in a recent letter to governing Uri Party members that these parachute appointments are a means to overcome imbalanced regional composition. But if he is trying to overcome the imbalance by such appointments, that becomes a problem in itself.
Mr. Roh said, “The political party that I joined did not receive support from the Gyeongsang provinces, so no reputable person would join it. Thus at election time we would hear that there are no prominent persons, and this led to isolation inside the party.” He added, “This repeating vicious circle would only lead to a hardening of the imbalanced regional composition.” The problem is that the appointments put too much emphasis on Gyeongsang province natives. This can be seen as a political strategy aimed at a specific region, targeting next year’s local elections and then the next presidential election.
Regarding the new environment minister, a Gyeongsang native who was defeated in last year’s election, the government mentions his past credentials as head of the executive committee of a Daegu environmental group. But the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement contends he is not a proper choice.
It is a principle to appoint professionals in a field to related posts in the administration so that they can carry out their tasks superbly. An appointment should not be made in preparation for the next election. The present administration, once cited for appointing only those who share the same political views, is now making appointments in view of coming elections. Who will take care of the affairs of state?
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