A survey conducted by four polling companies in South Korea has revealed that the majority of South Koreans support the idea of pardoning Samsung’s heir, Lee Jae-yong. At the beginning of the year, Samsung Group’s de facto leader was sentenced to two and a half years on account of a bribery case. In recent weeks, however, numerous parties have shown support towards the idea of pardoning Lee Jae-yong amid the semiconductor shortage, from business officials to Buddhist monks and the country’s five major lobby groups.
The recent joint survey was conducted by four Seoul-based polling companies, namely Embrain Public, KSTAT Research, Korea Research International, and Hankook Research. The polls were completed with the help of over 1,000 people, and 64% of participants support the idea of pardoning Lee Jae-yong. The survey claims to have a margin of error of 3.1%, so no matter how you look at it, the majority of South Koreans are seemingly pro-pardon.
The final decision rests with President Moon Jae-in
Last week, President Moon Jae-in stated that ‘the global competition for semiconductors is intensifying […]’ while adding that South Korea needs to become more competitive in the chip industry. And because many people in the industry believe that Samsung Group’s Lee Jae-yong is one of the keys to solving the ongoing semiconductor crisis, the idea of granting a pardon remained open to debate.
President Moon Jae-in stated that ‘fairness, precedents and public sentiment must be considered at the same time.‘ He confirmed that he’ll consider people’s opinions before deciding whether or not to grant a pardon. It now looks like the people have spoken, so a presidential pardon might happen after all.
According to the recent survey, 47% of supporters of the Democratic Party of Korea are pro-pardon, while 44% are against. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 92% of People Power Party supporters believe that Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong should be pardoned.