Go to contents

Regionalism and factionalism-free Cabinet

Posted December. 23, 2012 23:41,   


President-elect Park Geun-hye says one of her merits is that she is free from pressure to return favors since she did not owe much to the people surrounding her. Since entering politics, she has lived under the shadow of the glory of her father, the late former President Park Chung-hee. She owed much less considering former leaders Kim Yong-sam and Kim Dae-jung, who had comrades worked together for the country`s democratization, and later former President Roh Moo-hyun and incumbent President Lee Myung-bak, both of whom were from outside the political establishment.

Park Geun-hye, however, got support from many people in the presidential election process. She had 200 members helping her ruling Saenuri Party election camp and nearly 10,000 people were appointed to various posts. If these people ask her for positions, she will grow perplexed and perhaps be unable ignore them. Roh adopted "code politics" of appointing like-minded people, while President Lee favored people from certain schools, regions and religious backgrounds. To avoid repeating the same mistakes, Park Geun-hye`s aides should open the way for her not to be swayed just as Rep. Lee Hak-jae who announced that he will go his own way.

The president-elect has pledged to end factional favoritism and regionalism for the sake of national integration, and appoint people regardless of gender, region and political propensity to important posts. Who will comprise her transition committee will be the first test bed. Those close to Park Geun-hye say she will form the committee by considering the composition of her administration, all for consistency. Several people are being mentioned as committee chairman. This is the basis of personnel management to appoint a person with high capability and wisdom. Nevertheless, even a fair personnel management needs to be unbiased. People are known to be lining up to the president-elect`s aides to take positions in the committee. Many of President Lee`s close aides went to prison due to corruption scandals over the course of his 2007 presidential election campaign and role in his transition committee. Power lasts a short time but the pain can last long. Aides to the country`s next leader need to be cautious.

Park Geun-hye needs to broaden her scope and name talented people to important posts. Her father had appointed as the country`s first prime minister in 1963 Choi Doo-sun, then Dong-A Ilbo president and a harsh critique of his military politics. King Sejong of the Joseon Dynasty appointed Hwang Hee, who opposed the installation of a prince. French President Charles De Gaulle visited writer Andre Malraux, who was a culture minister under his administration three times. How to obtain talent is the same regardless of age or country.