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Moon's rating drops to 9-month low

All News 10:07 July 16, 2020

SEOUL, July 16 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's approval rating fell significantly to the lowest level in nine months, a poll showed Thursday amid controversies over the death of Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon of Moon's liberal party and his policies on the real estate market, irregular workers and North Korea.

In a survey on 1,510 adults nationwide from Monday to Wednesday, the rating dropped 4.6 percentage points to 44.1 percent from last week, according to Realmeter.

It represents the lowest since recording 41.4 percent in the second week of October last year, when South Korea was locked in political rifts over Moon's appointment of Cho Kuk as justice minister. Cho and his family were accused of having illegal or unfair financial gains and other favors in schooling.

Moon's disapproval rating surged 5.2 percentage points to 51.7 percent, the highest since the first week of last November with 52.2 percent. The margin of error is plus and minus 2.5 percentage points.

It marks the first time that the rating has surpassed his approval in four months, a reversal political observers here called a "death cross."

President Moon Jae-in (R) attends a Cheong Wa Dae event in Seoul to unveil details of his New Deal initiative on July 14, 2020. (Yonhap)

President Moon Jae-in (R) attends a Cheong Wa Dae event in Seoul to unveil details of his New Deal initiative on July 14, 2020. (Yonhap)

Moon's approval rating has been apparently affected by suspicions involving the late mayor. Park apparently took his own life last Thursday after one of his female secretaries lodged a formal complaint with police against him over frequent "sexual harassment."

Even since Park's funeral on Monday, political disputes have been going on in connection with how he had obtained information on her complaint in advance and concerns about the "secondary victimization" of the accuser.

Public support for the president had been already on a decline in recent weeks due to soaring housing prices especially in Seoul and nearby cities, as well as North Korea policies and the state-run Incheon International Airport Corp.'s plan to grant regular employment status to subcontracted security guards.

The approval rating for the ruling Democratic Party dipped 4.3 percentage points to 35.4 percent, while that for the main opposition United Future Party rose 1.4 percentage points to 31.1 percent.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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