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Park's approval ratings dip 11 percentage points amid ferry disaster

All Headlines 16:46 May 02, 2014

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's approval ratings fell 11 percentage points in the past two weeks amid public anger over the government's handling of the Sewol ferry disaster, a survey showed Friday.

Of 1,008 people polled between Monday and Wednesday, 48 percent said they approve of Park's job performance, according to the survey by polling agency Gallup Korea, marking an 11 percentage point drop from the same survey two weeks ago.

Those who said Park is doing a bad job accounted for 40 percent, up 12 percentage points from the previous survey.

The survey had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

By age group, 61 percent of those in their 20s and 30s held negative views of the president, while those in their 40s were split evenly between positive and negative views at 45 percent each.

By contrast, older generations expressed greater support for Park, with 64 percent of those in their 50s and 77 percent of those aged 60 or above approving of her job performance.

Park's ruling Saenuri Party also suffered a blow as only 39 percent expressed support for the party, down 6 percentage points from two weeks ago.

Approval ratings for the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) fell 1 percentage point to 24 percent.

"Until two weeks ago, the Saenuri Party was on an upward trend compared with NPAD, but some of its supporters appear to have turned their backs on the party due to revelations of the government's inadequacy following the Sewol accident," Gallup Korea said.

"However, disappointment with the ruling party did not work to NPAD's advantage."

Public anger is running high over what many see as the government's incompetent handling of the April 16 sinking that left 302 people dead or missing.

In the survey, 82 percent said the government's response to the accident was "inadequate."

On Prime Minister Chung Hong-won's offer to resign over the government's bungled response, 73 percent said it was "inappropriate."

Park has said she will accept the resignation offer after the situation has been brought under control.


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