Trying to avoid the wolf, but in front of the tiger…Election Commission to be investigated for ‘corruption crimes’

Noh Tae-ak, the chairman of the National Election Commission먹튀검증, and election commissioners, who refused to be audited by the National Audit Office despite preferential hiring of the children of the election commission, are to be investigated by prosecutors. The story of ‘avoiding wolves and running into tigers’ came out in the passport.

Recently, there have been numerous allegations of preferential hiring of children and relatives by various members of the NEC, but the NEC declared on the 2nd that it refuses to allow the National Audit Office to inspect its work. It cited “constitutional practice.” However, the Audit Act only excludes the National Assembly, courts, and the Constitutional Court.

On the 4th, Seoul City Councilor Lee Jong-bae of the People’s Power held a press conference in front of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office in Seocho-dong, Seoul, saying, “The refusal of the Election Commission to conduct an audit is a clear illegal act,” and accused the chairman and all members of the Election Commission of violating the Audit Act. The Audit Act stipulates that if an audited entity refuses to be audited or refuses to provide documents, it is subject to imprisonment for up to one year or a fine of up to 10 million won.

“The Election Commission is subject to audit because it can be seen as a de facto administrative organisation,” Lee said, “and the audit of recruitment irregularities does not affect the independence and neutrality of the Election Commission.”

As a result, the Election Commission is in a position to be directly investigated by prosecutors, as the National Audit Office has vowed to “strictly deal with acts of denial and obstruction of legitimate audit activities.”

Despite the Democratic Party’s so-called “audit crusade,” the Ministry of Justice paved the way for the prosecution to take over the investigation through an amendment to the decree in August last year. According to the revised decree, “corruption crimes” are to be investigated by prosecutors. The Democratic Party of Japan called it a “manoeuvring decree.

In the case of the accusation, there is an observation that “since the defendant’s act of ‘obstructing the audit’ was aimed at ‘concealing recruitment irregularities,’ the prosecutor’s office would have no difficulty determining it to be corruption and investigating it directly.” “The prosecutor’s office does not necessarily have to investigate a case for which a complaint has been filed with the prosecutor’s office, but in this case, as the Election Commission itself is a ‘constitutional institution,’ it seems likely that the prosecutor’s office will decide to investigate the case directly, given the gravity of the case and the complexity of interpreting the law,” said a legal expert.

On 2 February, the Election Commission rejected the National Audit Office’s request to inspect its work in relation to allegations of preferential hiring for children, saying it was the “consensus opinion of all members. It argued that “there is a constitutional practice of not subjecting the Election Commission to scrutiny in order to ensure checks and balances among state institutions, and that the Election Commission, which is not an executive agency, is not subject to scrutiny under Article 97 of the Constitution.”

However, Article 97 of the Constitution, which establishes the Office of the Auditor General, stipulates that the scope of the Office of the Auditor General, along with the Public Accounts Inspectorate, is to “inspect the work of administrative bodies and public officials.” The Audit Act only excludes officials of the National Assembly, courts, and the Constitutional Court from the scope of the Office of the Auditor General, and does not include the Election Commission.

Under these circumstances, additional cases of children of Election Commission officials being hired at their parents’ workplaces came to light. Cover letters that blatantly alluded to their parents’ status were also revealed.

The son of former NEC Secretary General Kim Se-hwan, who stepped down last year, wrote “My parents are public servants” and “I held elections on some days” in the “Growth Background” section of his cover letter while applying for a job at the NEC, KBS reported on the 3rd.

The children of two Incheon city election officials, as well as officials from Chungbuk and Chungnam provinces, were hired at their “father’s workplaces,” the broadcaster added.

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