President’s ratings negative in two separate polls

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President’s ratings negative in two separate polls

Koreans with a negative view of President Park Geun-hye’s management of state affairs surpassed those with a more positive perception last week, according to the polling agency Realmeter yesterday.

Those results directly follow a week in which more people expressed a more optimistic sentiment. Park’s approval ratings have dipped to some of the lowest levels since the Sewol ferry accident, which killed more than 300 people, mostly 11th-grade high school students.

The numbers reflect the public’s dissatisfaction with the government since it failed to adequately handle the crisis and hold those responsible for the accident accountable.

The regular weekly survey, conducted between July 21 and July 25, shows her approval ratings fell 3 percentage points from a week earlier to 45.2 percent. The percentage of those who had a negative view of her performance rose 2.3 percentage points to 48.5 percent over the same period.

Negative views of the president exceeded positive opinions for the first time in the third week of June amid controversy over her nomination of Moon Chang-keuk, a journalist turned professor, as the prime ministerial candidate in a cabinet reshuffle following the April 16 tragedy.

The trend persisted for five straight weeks until the week ending July 12, only to upturn the next week.

“The delay of the passage of a special law on the Sewol at the National Assembly as well as the general public’s distrust of the prosecution and police over the course of their pursuit of Yoo Byung-eun [the de facto owner of the ship], the abrupt realization [on July 22] that his body had been found, and the overall context of the situation, has had a negative impact on President Park’s approval ratings,” the polling agency said in a statement.

In a separate survey by the polling agency Gallup, conducted between July 22 and July 24, President Park’s approval ratings returned to its lowest-ever level of 40 percent for the second time on record since her inauguration, down 4 percentage points from a week earlier.

Her approval rating also stood at 40 percent in the first week of July, but rebounded to as much as 44 percent in the week ending July 18.

The negative assessment of the president went up 3 percentage points to 50 percent over a one-week period last week - the highest since she took office.

It previously stood at 48 percent when she nominated Moon on June 10.

BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]




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