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P.M. nomination debacle dents Park’s ratings

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Published : 2014-06-16 21:35
Updated : 2014-06-16 21:35

President Park Geun-hye’s ratings dipped after she nominated a former journalist as the new prime minister, poll data showed Monday, suggesting that her choice might have had a negative impact.

Park’s ratings, which had begun to rebound after free-falling by more than 10 percentage points according to multiple surveys since the Sewol sinking, could drop further if she pushes on with the nomination of Moon Chang-keuk as her prime minister.

A poll conducted last week by Real Meter, an opinion surveyor based in Seoul, showed President Park’s ratings fell from 51.8 percent to 48.7. The drop came after her ratings had rebounded in early June for the first time in seven weeks.

“Ratings have dropped again since the nomination of Moon Chang-keuk as the next prime minister,” a Real Meter report published on Monday said.

This is the first time this year Park’s polls have fallen below the 50 percent margin according to Real Meter. The president’s endorsement rating was 64.7 percent immediately before the Sewol sinking.

Real Meter surveyed 2,500 adults nationwide, and claimed to have a 2 percent margin of error and a 95 percent confidence level for the statistics.

A Gallup Korea survey administered last Thursday showed Park’s approval ratings at 47 percent, the same number from a Gallup Korea poll conducted in late May. Gallup Korea had estimated that Park’s endorsement was at 61 percent before the Sewol accident.

But the same survey showed voters thought Park’s biggest problem was her personnel management. A Gallup Korea opinion survey conducted before Park’s nomination of Moon had said voters thought the government’s blunders during the Sewol accident was Park’s largest folly.

“Parliamentary hearings and Cabinet reshuffles that usually bring to light negative reports on nominees will have a negative effect on Park’s ratings,” Heo Jin-jae, a senior researcher at Gallup Korea, said in an interview with a local daily.

Public opinion against Moon has risen ever since videos of the prime minister nominee saying controversial comments about Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945 surfaced this month.

By Jeong Hunny (hj257@heraldcorp.com)

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