Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Acting PPP chief apologizes over presidential office hiring blunder

All News 10:40 July 20, 2022

SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, acting chairman and floor leader of the ruling People Power Party (PPP), apologized on Wednesday over the hiring of a presidential office employee after his remarks on the issue angered young voters who value fairness.

Kweon came under fire after he said he "pressured" PPP Rep. Chang Je-won to have a person from his constituency in the eastern city of Gangneung hired at the presidential office when Chang was chief of staff for then President-elect Yoon.

Kweon had also expressed frustration that the person was hired as a level 9 official, not a level 7 official as asked by him, saying a level 9 official's salary is not sufficient to cover living costs in Seoul for people coming from outside of the capital.

The employee later turned out to be a son of one of President Yoon Suk-yeol's acquaintances. That sparked criticism that personnel selections for the presidential office were made based on private connections, not based on merit.

This file photo shows Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, acting chairman and floor leader of the People Power Party. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows Rep. Kweon Seong-dong, acting chairman and floor leader of the People Power Party. (Yonhap)

"I apologize over my remarks regarding the recent hiring at the presidential office. I especially want to apologize to the younger generation if I hurt them," the PPP lawmaker wrote on Facebook.

Kweon, however, stressed that the hiring of the presidential official was different from the civil service exam system and that it was done appropriately under relevant regulations.

"These officials come and go with elected public officials and their terms are not guaranteed," Kweon said, adding that many young officials who had committed to the presidential election campaign were recruited this way in a fair manner.

The PPP lawmaker's apology comes after his remarks sparked criticism not only among young voters but also within the conservative party.

On Monday, Chang openly criticized Kweon for speaking in an "extremely rough manner" and urged him to "not forget the fact that he is in a position of heavy responsibility as the head of a ruling party."

"No matter how good the clarifications we may offer, we should refrain from such rough expressions as 'putting pressure' and 'how one can live in Seoul with the minimum wage.'"

mlee@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!