The country's bourse operator said Thursday that it has named a former government official as its new chief amid rising controversies over transparency in the procedure.
Choi Kyung-soo will commence his role as the new president of the Korea Exchange (KRX) after the decision is approved by the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and President Park Geun-hye. The bourse operator was designated as a public body in 2009.
The decision came three months after the previous KRX chief Kim Bong-soo resigned from his post in the middle of his term in June.
Choi served as the head of state-run Public Procurement Service between 2003 and 2005 and participated in Park's election campaign in December. Choi started his public service career at the finance ministry.
Choi's background sparked suspicion that he was named via unfair procedures, with the labor union characterizing the nomination as a "parachute appointment."
Parachute appointments imply preferential job allotment based on connections rather than merit or relevant experience for ranking posts.
Choi also headed Hyundai Securities, a local brokerage house, between 2008 and 2012.
Meanwhile, the KRX's labor union has been staging a protest against the decision since Tuesday, questioning the fairness of the nomination process.
"The FSC also reported to the KRX executives that it will nominate Choi as the new head on Sept. 9," said Yoo Heung-yeol, an official from the KRX's labor union, adding to the suspicion that the decision was made in advance.