Main opposition continues its crusade against Ahn

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Main opposition continues its crusade against Ahn

Despite Prime Minister-designate Ahn Dae-hee’s decision on Monday to give away all the money he earned over the past year to ease criticism over the fortune he amassed in a five-month period, the main opposition showed no sign of dialing down its offensive against him, defining him as “the most inept person” to take the job.

The New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) also accused the former prosecutor of being at the forefront of receiving undue favor in the legal market and exploiting his longtime career in public office, branding his service as a private lawyer “the very thing” that President Park Geun-hye had pledged to root out.

“We can’t have someone as a prime minister who represents the collusive ties [between the private sector and former government officials] at a time when the government is driving to root out ‘gwanfia’ culture,” NPAD Co-chairman Kim Han-gill said yesterday during a leadership meeting at the National Assembly.

Gwanfia is a term that refers to the corrupt connections between industries and the public officials who regulate them. The word is a portmanteau of gwalyo, the Korean word for officials, and mafia.

“According to the request sent by the Blue House for the confirmation passage to the National Assembly, a new prime minister will be responsible for normalizing the abnormal practices in our society that led to the sinking of the Sewol ferry, including long-held collusive ties between the public and private sectors,” he said. “But new revelations [about his income] tell us now that Ahn is most inept to take the position.”

The opposition’s stinging criticism came a day after the former Supreme Court justice promised to donate 1.1 billion won ($1.07 million) that was added to his assets over the past year in an attempt to contain the controversy surrounding the abnormally high income he earned over five months.

As a private lawyer, Ahn made 1.6 billion won from July through the end of last year, leading to speculation that he made the money peddling his influence and career experience holding a public office.

That kind of criticism has been especially troubling for Ahn and the Park administration, as collusion between government inspectors and the shipping industry is considered a factor in the Sewol tragedy.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]



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