Chief prosecutor tops poll of presidential hopefulsProsecutor General Yoon Seok-youl ranked on top in the latest poll of potential presidential candidates released Sunday, building on the momentum of support gained during his tug-of-war with Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae.
In a poll conducted by Realmeter on 1,000 people over the age of 18 on Friday and Saturday, 30.4 percent picked Yoon as their most favored president.
The survey, commissioned by local cable news channel YTN, had a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.
Yoon had also topped some earlier polls, but he has now surpassed 30 percent of support for the first time.
He was suspended by the Justice Ministry on Dec. 16 due to alleged misconduct, but he was reinstated on Christmas Eve after the Seoul Administrative Court granted him an injunction. It was viewed as a victory by Yoon over Choo in their feuds over prosecution reforms and politically sensitive probes.
Yoon has yet to announce his intention to run in the 2022 presidential election. But he said during a parliamentary session in late October that he would consider how to serve the nation after his retirement, leading many to believe a foray into politics was on the horizon for the veteran prosecutor.
Two liberal heavyweights who once dominated these polls trailed Yoon.
Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung was a distant second with 20.3 percent. Lee Nak-yon, chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), ranked third with 15 percent.
Yoon was favored largely by conservatives, with 54.8 percent of supporters of the opposition People Power Party (PPP) picking him. Among DP supporters, 45.3 percent went with Lee Jae-myung and 34.8 percent backed Lee Nak-yon.
In different polls released Saturday, Lee Jae-myung led the trio with Yoon and Lee Nak-yon behind him.
An Ipsos survey on 1,001 adults from last Monday to Wednesday, commissioned by broadcaster SBS, showed the governor on top with 23.6 percent.
Yoon and Lee Nak-yon earned 18.5 percent and 16.7 percent support, respectively. The survey had a margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.
Another broadcaster, MBC, commissioned Korea Research International to do a poll on 1,007 adults from last Tuesday to Wednesday. Lee Jae-myung finished first with 20.8 percent. Yoon and Lee Nak-yon trailed him at 18.2 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively.