NEC leaders quit over nepotistic hiring charges 2023

Thursday, the secretary general and deputy chief of the National Election Commission (NEC) resigned over allegations that their children were given preferential treatment during the recruiting process.

Park Chan-jin, NEC’s secretary general, and Song Bong-seop, NEC’s deputy secretary general, resigned following allegations that their daughters were unjustly recruited to work in NEC regional offices.

The NEC stated in a statement that Park and Song “humbly accepted the public criticisms that have been raised as secretariat heads and resigned, taking moral responsibility for the current situation regardless of the results of the ongoing special audit.”

It was reported that the election watchdog held an emergency meeting earlier that day to discuss the issue and felt “deep responsibility for causing great disappointment and concern among the public” due to allegations of preferential treatment in the hiring of the children of high-ranking officials.

Prominent NEC employees resign in the wake of allegations of favoritism in recruiting.

Local media outlets reported earlier this month that Park’s daughter was recruited to work as a civil servant at the NEC’s local office in Nam District, Gwangju, in 2022, and that Song’s daughter was hired to work in an office in Boryeong City, South Chungcheong, in 2018.

This led to accusations that they were employed using the so-called “dad’s chance,” which refers to privileges granted to the children of influential fathers.

As the controversy grew, the NEC initially denied there had been any preferential treatment but initiated a special internal audit.

Similarly, Park refuted the allegations, but during a parliamentary hearing on May 16 he told members of the National Assembly’s public administration committee that he would “take responsibility” and resign if the allegations were proven true.

Regardless of the resignations of Park and Song, the NEC intends to corroborate whether there were other irregular appointments of former and current public officials by conducting its own special audit and internal investigations.

It stated that it will take “all reasonable measures, such as disciplinary action,” if any irregularities are discovered.

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