President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approval and credibility ratings in Taiwan Indicators Survey Research’s (TISR) latest poll fell to their lowest since he took office in May 2008 amid the ongoing wiretapping controversy and political turmoil.
Ma’s latest approval rating came in at 14.5 percent in the second half of last month, down 1.7 percentage points from 16.2 percent in the first half of last month, while his credibility rating was 19.1 percent, down 1.9 points. Both ratings are the lowest in the monthly tracking poll since his inauguration, TISR general manager Tai Li-an (戴立安) said in a press release.
The survey, conducted on Thursday and Friday last week, found that Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) approval rating of 15.1 percent, down 3.3 points from the previous poll, also marked his lowest since assuming the premiership in February. His disapproval rating also climbed 6.7 points to 53.4 percent.
The survey also polled respondents on the current political affairs related to the use of wiretaps and the power struggle between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
Asked what they have observed in the ongoing political strife, 64.6 percent of respondents agreed that government investigations have been selective in their targets, followed by 63.5 percent who thought they were related to illegal wiretapping, 61.4 percent who felt there was political interference in the media and 55.5 percent who perceived political influence on the Central Election Commission.
Regarding Jiang’s comments that Wang’s role as speaker may be affected by allegations of improper lobbying, 50.3 percent of those polled said the remarks had violated the spirit of the constitution, 21.1 percent disagreed with the statement and 28.6 percent did not give an answer.
While more than half of respondents said they hate what they believe to be the executive branch’s breach of the principle of separation of power, they were exhausted by the deadlock in the legislature, with 54.2 percent supporting the use of police force when lawmakers occupy the podium as a method to block legislative procedures.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
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