Wed, May 20, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Ma’s disapproval rating near 70%: polls

DISMAL NUMBERS:Polling also showed 49.1% believed Ma committed irregularities in the Taipei Dome project, while 29.2% thought he was clean. Few back the ‘1992 consensus’

By Chen Hui-ping, Wang Yu-chung and Chiu Yen-ling  /  Staff reporters

Taiwan Thinktank deputy chief executive Lai I-chung shows a graph of a public opinion survey indicating that more than 68 percent of Taiwanese are not satisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou’s performance, at a press conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

On the eve of the final year of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) second four-year term today, Ma’s disapproval rating stood at nearly 70 percent or higher in various surveys, while his approval rating was as low as less than 20 percent.

About 68.4 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with Ma’s performance as president, against 21.3 percent who said they were satisfied, in a telephone-based poll conducted on Sunday, Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday.

A cross-analysis of differences in political party affiliation found that among respondents who identified themselves as supporters of the pan-blue camp, 50.5 percent said they found Ma’s governance dissatisfactory, the poll showed.

The survey found 49.1 percent of respondents doubted the image Ma has sought to establish as a clean politician because they said they believed there might have been some irregularities involving Ma in his handling of the Taipei Dome project when he was Taipei mayor, while 29.2 percent believed he was clean.

The president has repeatedly stressed that only by respecting the so-called “1992 consensus” — an alleged agreement between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that there is “one China, with each side having its own interpretation of what ‘one China’” means” — can the “status quo” be maintained, but the survey found that a majority of people did not agree.

According to the survey, 68.7 percent of the public said they support maintaining the “status quo,” while only 15.4 percent said they support the “1992 consensus.”

KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) description of cross-strait relations as “both sides belonging to one China,” to which Ma has given his endorsement, was supported by only 13 percent of respondents, while 77.4 percent said Taiwan and China are both sovereign states, independent of each other and not subordinate to the other, the survey found.

About 50.2 percent of respondents said the government should place more consideration on the impact of cross-strait exchanges and negotiations on national security, while 38.1 percent said economic benefits should be the main concern, the poll showed.

On a scale of zero to 10, with zero indicating “not at all” and 10 signifying “extremely,” the extent to which respondents perceived Taiwan as depending on China to maintain its economic growth stood at 6.1. Moreover, 62.2 percent of respondents said Taiwan should deepen its economic ties with countries other than China.

A survey that the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) conducted from Saturday to Monday found that 14.52 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Ma’s performance over the past seven years, against 64.3 percent who thought the opposite.

Similar results were found in a survey released by the TVBS poll center yesterday showing Ma’s approval rating at 16 percent and disapproval rating at 67 percent.

In another poll, conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research, 15.4 percent expressed satisfaction with Ma, while 75.7 percent were dissatisfied.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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