Mon, Oct 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s approval rating starting to rebound: survey

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating has rebounded to more than 50 percent, its highest point in a month, while 67 percent of respondents to a Taiwan Style Foundation survey said they support the president’s coordinatation of the government’s executive and legislative branches, the foundation said yesterday.

Tsai’s approval rating rose from 49 percent last month to 50.6 percent this month, with her disapproval rating standing at 45.2 percent, the foundation said.

The result is seen as a comeback for Tsai after recent polls showed her approval rating dipping below 50 percent. A poll published earlier this month by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research showed Tsai’s approval rating at a record low of 37.6 percent.

Foundation chairman Wang Zhin-sheng (王智盛) said a sharp decline in the government’s approval rating has been halted due to Tsai’s recent moves in cross-strait relations and government leadership.

“Tsai was largely reticent about cross-strait relations, but over the past few weeks, she delivered four addresses, including an open letter to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and her Double Ten National Day speech [that said Taiwan would not succumb to China’s pressure and called for renewed dialogue]. That raised Tsai’s ratings,” Wang said.

Tsai has shown her determination in chairing the High-Level Policy Coordination Meeting to unify decisionmaking across the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and the DPP caucus, which is seen as a means to speed up reforms, he said.

When asked about Tsai chairing the meeting amid concerns that she might be abusing presidential power, 67.1 percent of respondents said they support the president’s move, while 22.4 percent said they do not support it, the foundation said.

When asked about Tsai’s dealings with the Cabinet, 52.7 percent of respondents said that the president, as the highest elected official in the nation, should personally direct government policy instead of passing the buck to her Cabinet, while 38.2 percent said the president should act in accordance with the Constitution and not interfere with the Cabinet.

In terms of Tsai’s image, more than 60 percent of respondents said she is honest and trustworthy, while she is perceived as a capable leader who has the ability to carry out reforms, protect Taiwan’s interests when dealing with China and has the strength to enforce policies, the foundation said.

The poll results showed that the Tsai administration is still enjoying a honeymoon period, with the government’s support rating among the pan-green camp remaining largely unchanged at about 80 percent, foundation CEO Anson Hung (洪耀南) said.

“However, the honeymoon period is about to end, because the government only has about a 50 percent support rating among neutral voters and about 20 percent among pan-blue voters,” Hung said. “The number of supporters from both sides is decreasing, especially from the pan-blue camp.”

Meanwhile, 50.9 percent of respondents said they are unsatisfied with Premier Lin Chuan’s (林全) performance, while 40.4 percent said they are satisfied, the foundation said, adding that 26.5 percent of respondents said they want Lin replaced, while 61.9 percent said he should remain in office.

DPP Legislator Chiang Yung-chang (江永昌) said the results showed that the public supports the government’s policies, but blamed the government for being inefficient in their implementation.

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