President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval rating climbed to 21.47 percent from single-digit figures in a public opinion poll released yesterday, as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) grapples with internal political strife.
The survey, released by Chinese-language newspaper the Apple Daily, showed that 21.47 percent of people said they were satisfied with Ma’s performance, while 67.35 percent said they disapproved of his performance in his second term.
The poll’s publication followed an interview on Tuesday with CtiTV in which Ma defended the KMT’s revocation of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) party membership over allegations of improper lobbying.
The survey results were a significant improvement for the president, whose approval rating plunged to 9.2 percent last week in another poll as the political struggle between him and Wang intensified. The 9.2 percent reading marked the first time his support rating had hit single digits.
Ma has denied that he is carrying out a plan to “eliminate” Wang through an investigation into his alleged lobbying for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and has used interviews with media outlets to insist that the KMT’s decision to suspend Wang’s membership was intended to defend justice.
The survey also showed a decline in public support for Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), with 19.84 percent of respondents saying they were satisfied with Jiang’s performance, while 61.47 percent said they disapproved of his performance.
Presidential Office spokesman Li Chia-fei (李佳霏) said that the office took all poll results into account and that Ma will continue his efforts to promote government policies.
Ma shrugged off his low approval rating in the CtiTV interview, insisting that he has received positive responses to his actions over the past week, including in newspaper editorials and in letters from supporters.
He added that first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青), who is known for being critical of her husband, has also expressed her support for his actions and urged him to communicate more with the public over the incident.
Regarding the public’s support for the KMT and the DPP in the presidential election in 2016, 39.43 percent of those surveyed in the Apple Daily poll said they would vote for former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) if the election were held tomorrow.
New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was ranked second as a presidential candidate with 24.9 percent, while Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) only got about 8 percent each, the survey showed.
The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, and collected 1,225 valid samples.