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44% of voters said only Choo should resign: pollster

Moon’s ratings mark sharpest weekly decline to lowest-ever 37.4%

Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae (Yonhap)
Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in’s support rating hit its lowest point ever last week, marking the sharpest weekly drop since his term began, local pollster Realmeter said Monday.

In a separate poll by the same pollster, 44.3 percent of voters said only Justice Minister Choo Mi-ae should resign after her monthslong conflict with Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl over control of the prosecution and its work.

On Nov. 24, Choo announced her decision to remove Yoon from duty, and the two are in a legal and procedural battle over that as well.

In the survey of 500 eligible voters conducted Friday on commission by broadcaster YTN, Realmeter asked who should step down, and 30.8 percent chose “Only Yoon should resign.” A further 12.2 percent selected “They should both resign.”

Only 5.4 percent chose “Neither should resign.”

By party preference, 64 percent of ruling Democratic Party of Korea supporters said only Yoon should leave his job, while 83.3 percent of main opposition People Power Party supporters said only Choo should resign.

Among unaffiliated voters, 48.3 percent said only Choo should leave, while 30.3 percent said both should resign.

“Only Choo should resign” was the most popular response in six regions, including Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province.

A whopping 63.3 percent of respondents in Daejeon, Sejong and the North and South Chungcheong provinces also called for the resignation of only Choo.

In Gwangju and the North and South Jeolla provinces, the ruling party’s traditional support base, the resignation of Yoon only was the most popular choice, with 36.6 percent.

In a separate survey of 2,513 people aged 18 or above nationwide conducted from Nov. 30 through Friday, 37.4 percent said they thought Moon was doing a good job, down 6.4 percentage points compared with the previous week.

In the poll commissioned by YTN and conducted by Realmeter, 57.4 percent chose “Moon is not doing his job well,” up 5.2 percentage points from a week ago.

Realmeter had announced the same rating for Moon -- 37.4 percent -- on Thursday for a poll it conducted on commission for radio station TBS.

By region, Moon’s ratings tumbled 14.2 percentage points in Gwangju and the Jeolla provinces; 13.7 percentage points in Daejeon, Sejong and the Chungcheong provinces; and 9.7 percentage points in Busan, Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province.

Women’s support for Moon declined by 9.9 percentage points.

The approval rating for the People Power Party gained 3.4 percentage points from a week prior to 31.3 percent, while the Democratic Party lost 4.4 percentage points to finish at 29.7 percent.

The People’s Party, the Open Minjoo Party and the Justice Party trailed with 7.2 percent, 5.5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively.

By Kim So-hyun (