A majority of respondents in a public opinion poll released yesterday said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) should not expel Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and that the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) should be abolished following its conduct in an influence-peddling case involving Wang and other officials.
The survey, conducted by Taiwan Thinktank, found that 53.5 percent of respondents thought the division was a corrupt institution, 51.1 percent of those polled said it should be scrapped and 72.6 percent said that the SID had jeopardized the judiciary’s integrity with its investigation into Wang’s alleged influence peddling on behalf of Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
Almost half, or 49.9 percent, of those polled said they believed that Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) was guilty of leaking intelligence because he delivered a private report about the probe to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) before it was publicly announced, while 59 percent said Huang was incompetent.
Among the pan-blue supporters questioned, 41.7 percent said Huang had leaked intelligence while 25.7 percent disagreed and 32.6 percent declined to comment.
The survey found that respondents seemed to be more discontent with Ma’s alleged political motivations in the case, which many say is a political persecution of Wang, than with the SID’s investigation.
In addition, 63 percent of those polled said that Ma had employed a “double standard” by not condemning Huang’s behavior, while former Bureau of Investigation chief Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) was sentenced to jail for concealing government documents and leaking confidential information to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and to Ker.
Following revelations that the division wiretapped Wang’s phone during the probe, 70.3 percent of the respondents said Ma has betrayed his pledge to eliminate illegal wiretapping and political surveillance and 50.7 percent agreed that Ma was trying to remove Wang so he could control the Legislative Yuan.
Nearly half, or 45.7 percent, of the survey participants expressed concerns about the judiciary’s wiretapping of civilians.
The poll found that Ma’s approval rating of 17.1 percent was at its lowest level since the think tank began conducting monthly tracking polls in March last year, while his disapproval rating remained high at 71.4 percent.
The figures paled in comparison with Wang’s, with the legislative speaker enjoying an approval rating of 60.5 percent and a disapproval rating of 21.8 percent.
The survey, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, collected 814 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.