The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday defended an Executive Yuan poll that showed an increase in support for imports of US beef containing ractopamine residue, while dismissing a pro-Taiwan independence group’s criticism of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) handling of the issue.
The Taiwan Brain Trust think tank on Monday released a poll on the performance of Ma’s administration that showed the president’s disapproval rating had reached 62.1 percent in the wake of the government’s plan to erase a ban on US beef containing the controversial feed additive.
Taiwan Brain Trust chairman Wu Rong-i (吳榮義) said such a high disapproval rating for the president at the start of his second term illustrated the president’s incompetence, adding that increasing unhappiness with the government could lead to a motion of no confidence against the Cabinet.
KMT spokesperson Yin Wei (殷瑋) yesterday said the think tank was manipulating polls for political purposes and urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to use the think tank to attack the Ma administration.
Yin said that DPP spokesperson Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) is the think tank’s executive director, and Wu and vice chairman Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) served as officials under former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration, adding that “the group has released many polls in the past favoring the DPP and the credibility of its polling should be under public scrutiny.”
Yin also dismissed the think tank’s criticism of a government poll on public support for imports of US beef and said the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission conducted regular polling to better gauge public opinion.
A survey by the commission, which polled 1,084 adults from March 6 until Friday, showed an increase of 22 percentage points in support of imports of US beef containing ractopamine when four conditions established by the government were factored in, while the disapproval rate declined by 19 points.
The KMT said it would arrange for Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) to present a report on the US beef issue before its Central Standing Committee today.
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