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Yoon's approval rating plunges to all-time low

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : April 19, 2024 - 13:13

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President Yoon Suk Yeol pays respects to the victims of the 1960 pro-democracy civic uprising at the April 19th National Cemetery in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol pays respects to the victims of the 1960 pro-democracy civic uprising at the April 19th National Cemetery in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol's approval rating was at 23 percent to mark the lowest figure since he took office, a poll showed Friday, as the ruling party struggled to recover from its crushing defeat in the general elections held last week.

The Gallup Korea poll, conducted on April 16-18 on 1,000 adults across the country, showed that positive assessment of Yoon's performance dropped 11 percentage points from the previous survey, which was taken at March 26-28 before the parliamentary election. The previous low for approval rating in the Gallup poll was 24 percent in the first week of August 2022.

The negative assessment for Yoon was 68 percent, an all-time high and up 10 percentage points from the previous survey.

Leading reasons behind the negative assessments were the economic issues and livelihood of the people, picked by 18 percent of the respondents, followed by lack of communication (17 percent), his tendency for making unilateral decisions (10 percent), and his handling of medical school quota hikes (5 percent).

The National Barometer Survey, announced Thursday, also showed Yoon's approval rating as president to be an all-time low, dipping further below the 28 percent mark recorded in its survey taken on the second week of August 2022.

The approval rating for the ruling People Power Party was 30 percent, overtaken by 31 percent rating for the main opposition Democratic Party. The ruling party suffered a 7 percentage point drop from the previous poll, and marked the first time since the first week of February that the ruling party had lower ratings than the Democratic Party.

The minor opposition Rebuilding Korea Party, which defied expectations to acquire 12 parliamentary seats in the general election, had 14 percent approval rating.

Last week's parliamentary election ended with a commanding victory for the main opposition party, with it and its satellite party procuring a total of 175 seats. The ruling party scraped 108, just barely preventing the opposition bloc from having a veto-busting 200 seats in the National Assembly.

A single political bloc controlling two-thirds majority in the 300-seat parliament would allow it to override any presidential veto. It could even theoretically push for a unilateral revision of the Constitution or the president's impeachment, although such actions would also require a referendum and a Constitutional Court decision, respectively.

Supporters of ruling and opposition parties were split on the results of the general election, with 74 percent of the former expressing their discontent while 71 percent of the latter expressed their content.

The complete results of the poll are made public on the home page of the National Election Survey Deliberation Commission.