Time for a colossal revamp

Home > Opinion > Editorials

print dictionary print

Time for a colossal revamp

President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval ratings hit rock bottom over the weekend. A rating hovering over 50 percent plunged to 24 percent in just two months in a recent Gallup Korea poll. Negative sentiment about his performance as president prevailed across the country while only people in their 70s showed more support for him than otherwise. If that is not a colossal crisis, what would be?

The drop in his ratings less than 100 days after taking office results from multiple factors, including the half-baked proposal to lower the school starting age to five by controversial Education Minister Park Soon-ae, the creation of a police administration bureau inside the Ministry of the Interior and Safety to control the police, and the publicizing of text messages between the president and the floor leader of the governing People Power Party (PPP). That’s not all. The suspicion over the participation of an interior design company with connections to the first lady in the construction of his official residence is still brewing on top of a more general public discontent over soaring prices and interest rates.

The never-ending in-house battle to take the leadership of the PPP does nothing but irritate the public. Since the party shifted to the emergency committee system after suspending its chairman Lee Jun-seok over sexual misconduct allegations, the provocative party leader vowed to file an injunction to make the party’s transition to the emergency mode ineffective. We have never seen the leader of a governing party confront a president as he is doing. It is not coincidence that the PPP scored its lowest approval ratings since its election victory in March.

Responsibility for the precipitous fall in ratings for the government and party should be owned by Yoon. Only he can help the party win any battle with the Democratic Party, which has 169 seats in the 300-member legislature. Yoon has no other choice but to listen to diverse voices and sincerely communicate with the public.

Given the obvious problems of Yoon’s aides, he must revamp the presidential office and recruit competent staffers with expertise in each field. Considering the controversy over his wife leveraging her personal connections, Yoon must appoint a special inspector in charge of overseeing possible corruption among people surrounding the president.

The PPP must establish a new leadership to regain public trust. Such a shift demands stern action from the president. Yoon must stop his close friends in the PPP from influencing appointments of ministers. Otherwise, a revamp will not succeed. We hope the president demonstrates a strong determination to change as soon as he returns to office from vacation.
Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)