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Park's approval ratings drop to record low of 40 pct

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, July 4 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye's approval ratings fell to a record low of 40 percent amid controversy over her choice of personnel, a survey showed Friday.

Only 40 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed between Tuesday and Thursday approved of Park's performance, while 48 percent said they disapproved, according to the survey by polling agency Gallup Korea. The survey had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

Park's approval ratings have fallen for three consecutive weeks, from 43 percent in the third week of June to 42 percent last week and 40 percent this week. It is the lowest-ever figure for Park since she took office in February 2013.

Gallup attributed the decline to a recent controversy over Park's personnel nominations.

Park recently conducted a Cabinet shake-up to regain public confidence in her administration battered by a deadly ferry sinking in April that claimed nearly 300 lives.

After two successive nominees for prime minister withdrew their names over ethical and other issues, Park retained incumbent Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who had offered to resign over the ferry disaster.

The controversial personnel nominations were the biggest reason for a negative assessment of Park's performance at 34 percent, Gallup said.

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