May 08, 2020 13:21
President Moon Jae-in's approval rating has stood at over 60 percent for a third week running despite the dire state of the economy.
Moon, who marks his third year in office this weekend, seems to owe his recovered popularity to the relatively smooth handling of the coronavirus epidemic. But it also means that his administration may feel emboldened to press ahead with failed policies under the banner of "income-led" growth that put unprecedented numbers out of business or work.
Moon's approval rating hit 61.4 percent on Thursday, up 0.8 percentage points from a week earlier, according to a poll of 1,508 people by pollster Realmeter. That is unusually high for a president at the beginning of his lame-duck phase.
A Gallup Korea poll also put his approval rating at 60 percent. His predecessors at the same point in their tenure barely managed over 40 percent and some fared much worse. Park Geun-hye scored 40 percent, Lee Myung-bak 43 percent, and Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Dae-jung 27 percent.
The ruling Minjoo Party and proxies won 180 seats in last month's general election and have the National Assembly firmly under their control. This will make it possible for the ruling circles to press ahead with existing key economic, political, foreign and social policies.
Moon is to announce his vision for the remaining two years of his term in a public address on Sunday. He still seems to be focusing on artificial job creation from public coffers and pie-in-the-sky projects for economic cooperation with North Korea.
Prof. Lee Jun-han of Incheon National University said, "He'll only be able to end his term successfully if he listens to the voices of opposition parties and other opponents in his final years in office."
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