Fri, May 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Support for Chen at all-time low: poll

TELEPHONE SURVEY Almost 77 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with Chen's performance, while only 28 percent were unhappy with the premier

CNA , TAIPEI

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) approval rating stands at just 16 percent compared with Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) 48 percent, according to the results of a survey released yesterday by Shih Hsin University. The rating is the lowest level ever recorded for the president in surveys conducted by the university, pollsters said.

Analysts said the outcome may be related to a recent string of corruption scandals involving administration officials as well as an insider stock trading controversy that may implicate Chen's son-in-law.

The nationwide survey was carried out by telephone on Monday and Tuesday, with 1,063 valid responses received. It had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The survey found that as many as 77 percent of Taiwanese are dissatisfied with Chen's performance, while only 28 percent are unhappy with Su's performance.

Only 26 percent of respondents expressed approval for Chen's recently concluded visit to Latin America, during which he made several surprise stops including Libya and Indonesia.

Thirty-one percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the Cabinet's performance and 50 percent were not. When asked to rate the performance of Chen, Su and the Cabinet, on average respondents rated Chen 44.5 percent, Su 60.6 percent and the Cabinet 54.4 percent.

According to the survey, the three Cabinet agencies with the highest approval rating were the Consumer Protection Commission, the Environmental Protection Administration and the Ministry of the Interior, in that order.

The most popular Cabinet member is commission Chairwoman and Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), followed by Minister of Transportation and Communications Kuo Yao-chi (郭瑤琪) and Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳).

Similar to the results of a previous survey two months ago, 31 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Su's pledge to improve the country's law and order situation within six months, compared to 61 percent who expressed no confidence in the measure.

Although 59 percent of respondents said they felt safe walking around their neighborhood at night, only 24 percent were satisfied with the overall law and order situation. They said the most urgent crimes the government should tackle are fraud, illegal gun possession, drug trafficking, organized crime, women's and children's safety, robbery, sex-related crimes and gambling.

Compared with the results of a survey two months ago, 19 percent of respondents thought the law and order situation had improved, 16 percent thought it had gotten worse and 60 percent thought it was unchanged.

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