[EDITORIALS]At the public trough

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[EDITORIALS]At the public trough

A controversy is growing over charges that some Blue House officials are intervening on behalf of candidates for government posts known as former student activists.
Yoo Jin-ryoung, the former vice minister of culture and tourism, said there were many cases in which the Blue House asked him to hire certain people for posts including the vice president of Arirang Television and the chief of the Korean Film Archive.
After Mr. Yoo refused to do so, he said, a presidential secretary threatened him with dismissal. Another investigator at a presidential secretary’s office allegedly confronted Mr. Yoo to ask him, “Why did you not do as you were told?”
The Blue House claims that these were the normal processes of negotiations. It is hard to imagine that leading members who are in power do and say things more befitting gang members. Have the people entrusted power to a gang? Does the Korean Constitution stipulate that a group of people who won a presidential election can do whatever they want in managing the country?
If this is the essence of the people who took power in this administration, they have simply plundered the people’s sovereignty, wearing a mask of democracy.
Jung Tae-in, who served as a presidential secretary for economics, disclosed the strong influence that an unofficial group of former student activists have on the employment of government officials.
He said all the lobbying and pressure for appointments were from those former student activists. Employing ministers and firing the vice president of the Financial Supervisory Commission were projects of that group, according to Mr. Jung.
His testimony confirmed that these former student activists have a large influence not only on government policies but also on the appointments of government officials. The incident of the former vice minister, Mr. Yoo, revealed only the tip of an iceberg.
The administration said it would hire or fire civil service workers according to a fair evaluation system. But it sacked Mr. Yoo for neglect of duty, when in fact he was given top scores in a number of evaluations.
The government has introduced an evaluation system for civil workers in an attempt to prevent such malpractices and to bring stability to the administration.
But it seems that a small number of people are ignoring the system and pushing other governmental bodies to hire certain people that they want, putting the administration in chaos.

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