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President's popularity drops to 56% in latest survey

2016/07/26 19:14:47

President Tsai Ing-wen. (CNA file photo)

Taipei, July 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has seen her popularity decline significantly just two months after her inauguration, according to a survey released by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation on Tuesday.

The survey revealed that 56 percent of people are in favor of the way Tsai is dealing with national affairs, including her choice of top personnel and policies.

The figure represents a decrease of 12 points from June and a fall of 14 points from May.

Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒), a former national policy adviser, said Tsai's popularity remains high despite the drop.

According to Chin, Tsai's high popularity rating two months ago was partly boosted by her victory in the Jan. 16 presidential election, and the recent slump has simply brought her popularity back to a reasonable level that could be expected this early in her term.

Yang Tai-shun (楊泰順), a professor of political science at Chinese Culture University, attributed the decline in Tsai's popularity to the stagnation in cross-Taiwan Strait relations since her inauguration.

Pointing to the example of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Yang said although Chen was elected with just 39.3 percent of the votes in 2000, he managed to obtain a high popularity rating two months after his inauguration, mainly because his efforts to improve Taiwan's relations with China at that time gave people high expectations for his cross-strait policy.

By comparison, communications across the strait have been stalled since Tsai assumed office, leading people to worry about cross-strait ties, he said.

The survey was conducted July 18-19 among 1,084 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Y.F. Low)