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President Ma's disapproval rating jumps to 62.5%

2012/04/27 23:02:27

Taipei, April 27 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou's disapproval rating rose to 62.5 percent in April, and 44 percent of local voters feel they chose the wrong candidate in the 2012 presidential election, according to a recent poll conducted by a local think tank.

Ma's disapproval rating increased from 49.7 percent in March to 62.5 percent, and his approval rating dropped 12.5 percentage points to 26 percent, according to poll results released by Taiwan Thinktank.

In addition, 41.6 of respondents believed Ma's policies are headed in the wrong direction, compared with 37 percent who felt they were moving in the right direction.

Some 44.1 percent of respondents said they voted for the wrong presidential candidate on Jan. 14, slightly higher than the 43.5 percent who said they made the right choice.

That translates to about 16.9 percent of those polled who voted for Ma now believing they voted for the wrong person, the think tank said.

In the same poll, the disapproval rating for Premier Sean Chen went up to 51 percent in April from 39.5 percent in March. Chen was sworn in Feb. 6.

In response, the ruling Kuomintang said it will continue to pay close attention to public opinion and to carry out reforms.

The lower approval ratings almost certainly stemmed from fuel price hikes imposed on April 2 and planned electricity rate hikes scheduled for mid-May.

The response to the hikes only grew more heated after the generous employee benefits and high overheads of Taiwan's state-run power and oil companies were made public.

Lingering concerns over a possible capital gains tax on stock investments, proposed by the Finance Ministry, has also sparked controversy.

The local bourse's benchmark index has slid 6.9 percent since March 28, when a committee on tax reform, including imposing a capital gains tax on stock transactions, met for the first time.

The survey, conducted among Taiwanese nationals 20 years of age and above on April 23 and 24, had 1,079 valid samples and a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

(By Sophia Yeh, Lee Shu-hua and Jamie Wang)