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Moon's approval rating falls to five-week low

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President Moon Jae-in / Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in / Yonhap

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has dropped below 40 percent for the first time in five weeks, a poll showed Monday, as his administration struggles to calm public outcry over alleged speculative land purchases by officials at the state-owned housing supply enterprise.

Public support for the ruling Democratic Party (DP) also dipped, while that for the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) ascended, with less than a month left before the all-important Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections, according to Realmeter.

In its five-day survey from last Monday of 2,510 voters nationwide, 37.7 percent of respondents supported Moon, down 2.4 percentage points from the previous week.

It is the first time that Moon's approval rating has declined below 40 percent in Realmeter's tracking poll since it recorded 39.3 percent in the first week of February.

The portion of those who disapprove of Moon's presidency rose 1.7 percentage points to 57.4 percent.

His rating, especially, plunged 5.8 percentage points to 32.6 percent in Seoul and 5.3 percentage points to 58.3 percent in the Gwangju-Jeolla province area, a traditional power base of his left-leaning party.

By age, he lost 9.1 percentage point among those in their 20s, winning only 26.4 percent of support.

The main opposition party's approval rating across the country, meanwhile, gained 0.4 percentage point to 32.4 percent, as the DP's rating slid 0.9 percentage point to 30.1 percent.

In Seoul, the PPP added 2.2 percentage points to 36.4 percent, and the DP shed 2.0 percentage points to 27.6 percent.

The DP's rating, in particular, dived markedly on Thursday and Friday, according to a Realmeter official.

Now that controversies associated with the Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH) are expected to go on, chances are high that the issue will pose a "downside risk" for the approval ratings of Moon and the party this week as well, the official added.

The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.

It was revealed that 20 LH officials had bought land in the Gwangmyeong-Siheung site of Gyeonggi Province and other regions close to Seoul well ahead of the government's announcement on plans to build new residential towns there as part of efforts to stabilize the real estate market.

Last week, the government made public the outcome of its initial internal probe into relevant suspicions, but many expressed disappointment with it. Police are expanding a separate investigation into the case. (Yonhap)

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