Thu, May 24, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma’s second term to have no ‘honeymoon period’

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has not enjoyed a “honeymoon period” after his re-inauguration, with the latest public opinion poll showing that the president’s approval rate remains a dismal 22.7 percent.

Ma’s approval rating has fallen 2.4 percent since the first Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey (TMBS) was released on May 11, according to Taiwan Indicators Research Survey, which conducts the bimonthly poll, which covers a range of economic and political issues.

The poll, conducted on Sunday and Monday, found that 67.1 percent of respondents disapproved of Ma’s performance and 36.3 percent said they were not happy with the president’s inauguration address on Sunday.

Only 16.7 percent of respondents said they agreed with Ma’s speech and 47.3 percent said they were not aware of what was said in the speech or did not answer.

Responding to a question asking who should be held accountable for a series of unpopular policies, including fuel and electricity price increases, capital gains tax on securities transactions and the relaxation of a ban on the import of US beef products containing the feed additive ractopamine, 41.9 percent of those polled said Ma should take responsibility. A total of 33.4 percent said that ministers should take most responsibility and 5.7 percent believed Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) was to blame.

According to the survey, Chen’s approval rate was lower than Ma’s at 18.4 percent, down 3.4 percent from the first survey, but only 28.4 percent of respondents said the premier should be replaced.

As to impressions of the political parties, 48.5 percent of respondents said they did not favor the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), while the Democratic Progressive Party’s negativity rate went down from 41.9 percent earlier this month to 36.1 percent.

The poll collected 1,025 samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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