SEOUL-- The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae announced new and more detailed guidelines Wednesday for its nominations of new government and public officials that would exclude persons convicted or suspected of what it called the seven most serious and immoral crimes and misdeeds, including plagiarism.
The list also included evading tax and mandatory military service, as well as false registration of address, which were included in the original list of misdeeds announced by President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May.
The revised guidelines are apparently aimed at appeasing the opposition-led parliament, which recently refused to issue a report on the outcome of its confirmation hearing for Hong Jong-haak, then-nominee for minister of SMEs and startups.
President Moon Jae-in appointed Hong on Monday, despite strong objections from opposition parties, which cited what it claimed was Hong's suspicious inheritance of family wealth.
The new guidelines added two more crimes or misdeeds that would prevent the president or his administration from even considering a person for nomination to any ranking government post. They are sexual crimes and DUI citations.
However, the latest criteria for new ministers and government officials may be seen as a retreat from the earlier version. For instance, the president had initially said he would not nominate any person found to have ever registered their residence at a false address, a practice often associated with reducing tax bills or sending children to better schools.
Under the new guidelines, only those who committed such crimes after July 2005 will be excluded from nomination, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Soo-hyun told a press briefing, noting that was when the National Assembly began holding confirmation hearings for ministerial nominees.
Also, only those who have committed the crime more than twice since July 2005 will be kept from possible nomination.
"We had to consider the validity, as well as the objectivity of the guidelines. Those who can objectively be determined unqualified through past conviction for violating the relevant laws or through their inclusion in the list of repeated tax evaders will be fundamentally excluded from appointment," Park said. "Fundamental exclusion means their names will not even be put on the table for consideration."
Source: Yonhap News Agency