Yoon’s approval rating dips below 30% after controversial text disclosure

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s approval rating sank below 30 per cent in the wake of the disclosure of a controversial text conversation with the ruling party floor leader, a poll revealed on Monday.

In the poll of 1,003 voters nationwide conducted by pollster Korea Society Opinion Institute (KSOI), 28.9 per cent said Yoon was doing well on state affairs, down 3.3 percentage points from the previous week, while those who gave a negative assessment rose 4 percentage points from a week ago to 68.5 per cent, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The result came amid leadership turmoil at the ruling People Power Party (PPP).

Last week, PPP floor leader Kweon Seong-dong apologised after the text conversation he had with Yoon was caught on camera, in which the President was heard talking about suspended party chief Lee Jun-seok.

Kweon took over as acting leader of the party in early July after the party’s ethics committee suspended Lee’s party membership for six months over allegations of sexual bribery and a cover-up.

On Sunday, the floor leader offered to resign.

The incident also prompted three members of the party’s Supreme Council to quit amid speculation the party could switch to a collective leadership system from its one-man leadership.

On views that Yoon’s opinion could have affected the disciplinary measure against Lee, the KSOI poll showed that 68.8 per cent agreed with the claim, while 25.5 per cent dismissed it.

In a separate poll of 2,519 voters nationwide conducted by pollster Realmeter between July 25-29, 33.1 per cent said the President was doing well on state affairs, down 0.2 percentage point from the previous week.

Those who gave a negative assessment rose 1.1 percentage points from a week ago to 64.5 per cent.

A daily breakdown of the poll showed that Yoon’s approval rating fell sharply from 38.3 per cent on July 26 to 28.7 per cent on July 29.

The pollster said it was its first survey in which the South Korean leader’s approval rating fell below 30 per cent on a daily basis.

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