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Survey finds dissatisfaction with Tsai's reform agenda

2018/05/20 20:14:49

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) As President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) enters the third year of her four-year term in office, a poll released on Sunday showed a majority of respondents being dissatisfied with the progress her administration has made in delivering on her campaign pledges.

An online poll by Taiwan Democracy Watch gave the overall performance of the Tsai administration an approval rating of only 14 percent against 82.4 percent disapproval.

A total of 1,001 people were surveyed between May 14 and 18 on their perceptions of how Tsai has advanced her policy visions in an email questionnaire.



The questions included in the survey ranged from pushing for constitutional reform and ensuring marriage equality to protecting labor rights and changing Taiwan's energy mix.

On the issue of constitutional reform, which Tsai said previously was needed for Taiwan to build a more functional democracy, the poll showed that 55.2 percent of respondents supported her statement that the task should be carried out as soon as possible.

That was down noticeably from the 66 percent supporting the statement in the same survey conducted in May 2017, said Yen Chueh-an (顏厥安), a professor of law at National Taiwan University.

One possible reason is that the issue has been tinged with partisanship after Tsai vowed to undertake the reform at the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) convention last September, he said.

Yen noted, however, that support for constitutional reforms among respondents who identified themselves as supporters of the pro-DPP green camp also fell.

"An explanation of the decline was that there exists a serious doubt among them whether she (Tsai) is committed to or capable of advancing constitutional reforms," Yen said.

On the issue of marriage equality, the survey asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed that the Tsai administration has been procrastinating in fulfilling its obligation as stipulated in a constitutional ruling in May 2017 favoring same-sex marriage.

The result showed that 50.9 percent agreed and 33.7 percent disagreed.

In the landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court asked authorities to amend the Civil Code or enact relevant laws to legalize same-sex marriage no later than May 2019.

The Tsai administration has repeatedly reneged on promises related to the legalization of same-sex marriage, said Tseng Chao-yuan (曾昭媛) of the Awakening Foundation.

Tseng said, for example, that a Cabinet task force set up to discuss the issue has been idle since July last year, and the Cabinet did not present related bills to the Legislature for review by the end of last year as Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) previously promised.

The failure to advance marriage equality suggested that the Tsai administration is a government that people find hard to trust and that it has taken a passive attitude on guaranteeing people's constitutional rights, she said.

(By Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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