With Choi Jae-hyung, former chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI), joining the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) on July 15, the ruling Democratic Party of Korea strongly criticized, saying, "He has damaged political neutrality, which is the core value of democracy. It is a waste of time to criticize it."
Some lawmakers of the Democratic Party even compared Choi to a pro-Japanese collaborator.
Kim Jin-wook, a spokesman for the Democratic Party, said in a written briefing earlier in the day, "The resignation during the term of the BAI chairman and joining the political circle immediately left an anti-constitutional case undermining the BAI's political neutrality."
Spokesman Kim said, "The BAI's political neutrality and independence are core values of democracy. However, former BAI Chairman Choi has seriously damaged it."
Former Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, a Presidential candidate, also said, "He did as I had expected earlier. It was a betrayal of the people, a betrayal of God, a betrayal of principle. A traitor will fail."
Bae Jae-jeong, a spokesman for former Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, also a Presidential candidate, said, “It was an act that shook the foundation of the constitutional institute. From now on, he will take due responsibility.”
The Democratic Party defended Choi when he was appointed as the head of the BAI in 2017, saying, "He has a character full of good stories. These matters should be informed more.”
However, as the BAI began audits on the Moon Jae-in administration’s nuclear-free policy, the ruling party’s attitudes toward Choi have reversed 180 degrees.