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Civil Servant Community Worries about Post-election Shakeup

Civil Servant Community Worries about Post-election Shakeup

Posted April. 13, 2004 21:21,   


The civil servant community is being perturbed by rumors which claim that there will be a massive reshuffle after the 17th election.

The reason for the rumors is that a shakeup will follow when the Uri Party become the majority of the National Assembly as a result of the April 15 elections and when President Roh Moo-hyun is back to office after his impeachment is rejected in the Constitutional Court.

“The presidential office and the ruling party believed that their earlier attempts at reshuffling were stymied because they were a minority regime,“ one top official said. “It appears certain that the governing party will become a majority party, a post-election shakeup will be inevitable.”

The rumors are gaining credibility since Acting President Goh Kun has said long before the impeachment that he would resign after the election. Time is ripe for reshuffling at government departments as many vice ministers have been in the post for more than a year. While the civil servant community is increasingly admitting the rumors as an immovable fact, all eyes of senior officials are fixed on the results of the elections.

“The depth and width of the post-election shakeup is at the center of attention,” said a Grade 2 official. “General expectations are that more than 50 percent of Grade 1 officials should retire in an unprecedented shakeup that is only on par with the one that took place at the start of the new government a year ago.”

Some officials predict that the shakeup will affect presidential advisors and government ministers.

“There are many officials who believe that presidential advisors and ministers would follow the pattern set in the previous government and show their willingness to resign regardless of whether the ruling party becomes a majority party or falls behind expectations in the elections as a way to refresh government discipline,” another Grade 1 official said.

“If the reshuffle affects ministers, it will be like a bombshell,” he said. In the face of the massive shakeup, senior officials remain very cautious.

They canceled golf trips and refrained themselves from having simple gatherings with friends. Some of them are reportedly attempting to pull strings to keep their jobs.

Hyun-Doo Lee ruchi@donga.com