Fri, May 09, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP approval ratings plunge in wake of scandal

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s approval rating has dropped to a new low of 18 percent in the wake of the Papua New Guinea diplomatic fraud scandal, DPP sources said yesterday.

The sources cited DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) as saying at a Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday that the party’s approval rating had been edging steadily upward since the March 22 presidential election. Hsieh suffered a bruising defeat in the election, losing by a 17 percent margin to his rival Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The DPP’s approval rating climbed to nearly 30 percent after the election, but plunged to a new low in the wake of the scandal in which Taiwan lost US$30 million in a bungled bid to forge diplomatic ties with Papua New Guinea, the sources said.

The DPP Central Standing Committee passed a resolution at a meeting on Wednesday to set up a task force to address the scandal. The party’s public poll center also unveiled the results of its latest public opinion survey conducted on Tuesday.

The results showed that a majority of the respondents believed government officials were implicated in the case. The number of respondents who thought the officials were corrupt outnumbered those who said the officials had been duped.

On the question of who should be held accountable, nearly 80 percent of respondents said that a full judicial investigation should be held before accountability is decided.

On whether President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) should withdraw from the DPP, a suggestion first floated by Hsieh’s spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), the poll showed more than 60 percent of pro-DPP respondents did not support the idea of Chen quitting the party over the scandal.

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