[EDITORIALS]Why so many advisors?Amid a distracted atmosphere due to North Korea’s nuclear test and spying allegations against younger politicians, President Roh Moo-hyun appointed five additional “special advisors” to bring the total to eight persons. The recent personnel decision was unreasonable and inefficient; mostly we worry that it will bring severe side effects. The role of the special advisor is supposed to be assumed by a person with diplomatic skills, administrative ability and abundant government experience. They also are to act as the president’s teacher and friend. In short, the person must complement the president’s shortcomings. If Mr. Roh had appointed figures with experience in diplomacy, unification or national defense with a conventional and conservative viewpoint, many people might have understood the recent decisions. But in reality, people with opposite backgrounds have been brought into office.
The former prime minister being mentioned to lead the advisors was forced to resign after playing golf with unethical businessmen. Two former ministers were appointed after failing to win the elections for local government heads for South Chungcheong Province and the city of Gwangju. The appointments can only be interpreted as the president’s way of repaying their kindness, a specialty in this administration. Mr. Roh also named the head of a policy planning advisory commission and a former civil affairs aide as advisors. If he wanted, the president could have called them up whenever he needed advice. Instead, he has chosen to bestow them with official titles in the government.
The Blue House stressed that the positions were unpaid and strictly honorary. But nice titles attract people and interests. That is why political parties come up with titles like special advisor to the candidate, vice spokesperson and various commission chiefs when presidential elections come up. Even now, there is a presidential special aide who is using the title to make his voice heard in various areas. Why does the president require further advisors? Also, how many nations have five special advisors for the president? Is it supposed to mean that the president is a political outsider?
Why is Mr. Roh proceeding with the decision despite negative side effects? Perhaps he is trying to increase his influence in the upcoming presidential elections through a powerful team of advisors when the ruling party is wishing that the president would keep a low profile. Doubts can only continue with the unclear personnel decisions.