Yoon’s approval rating exceeds 40% for 1st time in 8 months

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a government-public debate to discuss ways to improve people's livelihoods through the promotion of the nuclear power industry at the provincial government building in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 22. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a government-public debate to discuss ways to improve people’s livelihoods through the promotion of the nuclear power industry at the provincial government building in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, Feb. 22. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol’s approval exceeded 40 percent for the first time in eight months, a poll showed Monday, amid positive views on Yoon’s regional development initiatives and the government’s plan to drastically increase medical school seats.

According to the survey by Realmeter conducted Monday to Friday last week, the positive assessment of Yoon’s performance rose 2.4 percentage points from the previous week to 41.9 percent, while the negative assessment fell 2.4 percentage points to 54.8 percent.

Yoon’s approval rating has been on an uptrend for the past four weeks, the pollster said.

Realmeter attributed the rise to a positive assessment of Yoon’s policies targeting provincial regions, such as a pledge to lift greenbelt zones in non-capital areas, which have been restricted from development for environmental protection purposes.

Also affecting the rating was growing public support for the government’s push to add 2,000 slots to the country’s medical school enrollment quota to address doctor shortages in core medical services, such as emergency medicine, the poller said.

The survey, commissioned by the Energy Economy News daily, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

In a separate survey on political parties, the ruling People Power Party (PPP) had 43.5 percent support, which was up 4.4 percentage points from the previous week, while the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) had 39.5 percent support, down 0.7 percentage point.

Support for the PPP bounced back to over 40 percent after two weeks while the DPK’s support rate fell to the 30 percent range for the first time since last February.

The New Reform Party, created by former PPP leader Lee Jun-seok ahead of the general elections, had a support rate of 4.3 percent, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier.

The proportion of middle-of-the-road voters was 5.9 percent.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. (Yonhap)

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