Former presidential adviser Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to resign because of his dismal approval rating and after a re-election win that he said was “heavy with US and Chinese interference.”
“How does a president with an approval rate of 19 percent lead a country? What legitimacy does he have?” Koo asked a press conference.
Ma’s approval rate dropped to 18.7 percent on Sunday, its lowest level in nearly three years, according to a survey by the Taiwan Brain Trust think tank.
Koo, 85, said that because of Ma’s lack of legitimacy and the unprecedented foreign influence in the Jan. 14 presidential election, he should resign immediately and postpone the presidential inauguration for three months.
Ma’s approval rate was at about 38 percent in November and December last year before he received a 51.6 percent share of the vote in the election, but his support rate fell to 26 percent 40 days after the election and then hit a new low on Sunday, Koo said.
If Ma refuses to resign, members of the public who disagree with his governance would take to the streets and make the same demand, Koo said.
The senior independence advocate said the “suspicious” peak of 51.6 percent could be related to interference from Beijing and Washington.
Koo added that this had cast a shadow over Taiwan’s democracy, with Taiwanese in danger of having their right to elect a leader and their future taken from them.
Koo made clear his displeasure with Washington, saying that while Taiwan-US relations are important and Taiwan is a small country, the US should not interfere in its elections.
The US has spent a lot of money and deployed many troops to protect Japan and South Korea, he said, but it has underestimated Taiwan’s strategic importance in East Asia.
Koo also called for Ma to grant a presidential pardon to former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to ensure social stability.
Ma’s retaliation against Chen has been “too much” and it has given Taiwanese the feeling that “Mainlanders” do not like “Taiwanese presidents,” he said.
“Ma will step down some day and I believe there will be a lot of reasons to put him behind bars, but we can’t lock up every former president in prison,” he said.