Posted April. 15, 2009 07:47,
Twenty-nine Grand National Party members belonging to the previous National Assembly did not get their partys nominations to run in the general elections last year.
The results of a Dong-A Ilbos survey on the 29 released yesterday found that almost half of them have become public officials working for the presidential office or state-run corporations.
When the general elections grew closer, the party had 128 seats in parliament. Among them 45 failed to get nominations, of which 16 bolted from the party to run as independents.
Kwon Chul-hyun, who led the partys election polling committee in the run-up to the presidential election in 2007, was appointed ambassador to Japan in April last year.
Also last year, Maeng Hyung-kyu became senior secretary to the president for political affairs in June and Kim Deok-ryong special adviser to the president for national unity in July.
Chung Mun-heon was appointed presidential secretary for unification in January this year. Park Gye-dong was appointed secretary general of the National Assembly secretariat (minister level) and Kim Yang-su chief of staff for the National Assembly speaker (vice minister level).
Many former party members who failed to get election nominations were appointed heads or auditors of state-run corporations. Kim Seok-jun became president of the state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute in August last year.
Also last year, Ahn Taek-su was appointed chief director of Korea Credit Guarantee Fund in July; Jeong Hyung-geun chief director of the National Health Insurance Corp. in September; and Im In-bae president of the Korea Electrical Safety Corp. in October.
Lee Seong-gwon was appointed permanent auditor of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency in August.
Several of the above cases can be considered as the governments consideration of the expertise and career of the former lawmakers. Criticism is rising, however over the role of political influence in getting them the posts.
Lawyers Goh Jo-heung and Kim Yeong-deok and businessmen Goh Hee-seon and Lee Seong-gu were not chosen for posts. The four of them are known not to be close to President Lee Myung-bak.
Former party members close to former party leader Park Geun-hye were also excluded from consideration for posts among those who failed to be nominated. Kim Jae-won, who did not run in the elections, is hosting a radio show on Buddhist Broadcasting System.