President up in poll after 100 days
Today marks the 100th day of Park’s presidency and the JoongAng Ilbo conducted a survey on Friday and Saturday on Park’s performance. According to the poll, 65.4 percent gave Korea’s first woman president a positive review, while 25.3 percent evaluated her performance negatively.
Of those who evaluated her performance positively, 15.9 percent said they gave her the positive review because of how she handled North Korea issues.
The negative reviews toward Park were largely based on a series of botched appointments. Of those who evaluated her negatively, 45.5 percent said their reason was the problems associated with those appointments.
The approval rating falls about the middle of the ratings of her predecessors on their 100th day. In Gallup Korea’s latest poll, Park’s approval rating was 52 percent.
Because the survey allows a participant to rate a president’s performance as an average, the rating tends to be about 10 percent lower than other polls, which asks the participants to give a positive or a negative review.
According to Gallup Korea’s past polls, Kim Young-sam recorded the highest approval rating with 83 percent for his first 100 days. Kim Dae-jung scored 62 percent.
Roh Moo-hyun received 40 percent and Lee Myung-bak 21 percent, according to the Gallup Korea records.
Although the survey showed that 80.4 percent of the people said they have expectations for Park to do better, experts said her approval rating won’t fluctuate.
“The opposition parties have weak power to check her,” said Jeong Han-wool, deputy head of the Center for Public Opinion Research at the East Asia Institute. “And Park does not favor provocative language and behavior. So, even if a volatile scandal erupts, the aftermath will be limited.”
Park yesterday expressed her appreciation to her senior secretaries’ efforts to build a larger framework for her presidency. She then stressed the importance of winning the public trust in the government, asking the aides to do their best to transparently lay bare the mistakes and correct them.
The ruling Saenuri Party yesterday praised Park’s efforts to follow through with her campaign pledges and urged the government to pay special attention to newly emerged challenges, such as the nuclear plant industry corruption and the subsequent power shortage.
The main opposition Democratic Party, however, criticized Park for having failed with appointments while worsening the inter-Korean relationship. The party said it is regretful that the Park administration has nothing to celebrate for the 100th-day anniversary.
By Shin Chang-un, Ser Myo-ja [firstname.lastname@example.org]