Approval rating for President Tsai rebounds: polling agency

Taipei--The approval rating of President Tsai Ing-wen (???) has rebounded from a sharp fall over the past two months, with slightly more than 40 percent of respondents indicating they approve of her performance, a polling agency said on Monday.

The Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation, which publishes monthly polls, said 41.4 percent of those polled approved Tsai's handling of major national issues, including policies and personnel appointments, compared with 41.3 percent who expressed dissatisfaction.

This represents an increase of 7.6 percentage points from the previous month, while the number unhappy with the president's performance fell 13.1 percentage points.

You Ying-lung (???), chairman of the foundation, said that despite the increase, Tsai's approval rating is still 28.5 percentage points lower than when she was inaugurated on May 20 last year.

However, following a sharp decline in support in December and January, You said the president's approval rating has recovered, describing it as "amazing."

He attributed the improved approval rating to a number of factors. Firstly, the government made great efforts to respond to public opinion during the Chinese New Year period, including a proposed NT$800 billion economic development initiative, Cabinet reshuffle and substantive pension reform plan.

"When the government's performance lives up to public expectations, people are more supportive," You said.

The second factor is that Taiwan has just had Lantern Festival and Valentine's Day and Taiwanese people tend to be more tolerant of the government during the Chinese New Year period, he added.

On the performance of the Cabinet led by Premier Lin Chuan (??), 33.6 percent of respondents said they are satisfied, up 6.4 percentage points from the previous poll, compared with 52 percent who said they were unhappy, down 8.6 percentage points.

You said this was Lin's best performance over the past three months, but suggested that the fact more than half the pubic still disapproved of the Cabinet indicated the government does not have much in depth support.

In the wake of a recent minor Cabinet reshuffle, with new leaders appointed to the labor, health, science and agriculture agencies, polls show lukewarm public support, with 36.6 percent saying the change was appropriate, 14.4 percent indicating it was too big and 18.7 percent saying too small.

The poll, conducted between Feb. 13-14, collected 1,088 effective samples with a margin of error of plus and minus 2.97 percentage points.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel