Chung confusionLawmaker Chung Doo-un of the Grand National Party is one of President Lee Myung-bak’s core aides. Chung served as a vice-mayor of Seoul when Lee was the mayor. His role has become increasingly important because former lawmaker Lee Jaeoh, another close Lee aide, has left Korea. It was Chung who, in interviews and through a declaration, criticized that some of Lee’s core aides have been using their power for personal gain by intervening in personnel appointment affairs. He disclosed only the initials of the aides, but he made specific references.
One of those referred to criticized lawmaker Chung as having made statements that are groundless, fuelling further confusion.
There were already rumors in and outside of the administration that some core members were abusing their power since the auguration of the new government. Among those in power, it is being said that core members of the administration were highly influential in the appointments of the transition committee, cabinet and state-run corporations, and then the Grand National Party candidate nominations for the legislative elections. Word is also going around that there was a power struggle in the process. In April, about 50 lawmaker hopefuls in the capital region, including Chung, demanded en masse that the president’s brother, Lee Sang-deuk, give up his nomination as party candidate for the legislative election. The action was proof of a conflict among those in power. Chung said he reported the problem to President Lee just before the April general elections. Chung claims the president would not listen to him.
The president will have to clarify which of Chung’s claims are true. Some indicate that the president doesn’t know what is happening right before his eyes. President Lee should find out the truth and reflect it in the personnel reshuffle that is soon to take place.
Chung himself may be partly responsible. As a close ally of the president, did he not interfere in personnel appointments as well Why did he keep his mouth shut if core members were meddling with the appointment of the cabinet in February? Why did he lead group activities during the general elections and then shrink back? He needs to explain. We want to ask why, as a member of the administration, he did not raise his warning earlier, before the current crisis. The Lee Myung-bak vessel is about to sink. Its crew should sincerely help the captain to navigate the ship. If the crew is more concerned with its own political mage, then the captain did not choose the right crew.