Approval rating down to 45.5% as Tsai govt nears 100th day

TAIPEI (The China Post/ ANN) - Public approval of Tsai Ing-wen’s performance has declined to 45.5 per cent, while her disapproval rating has risen to 39.8 per cent, a survey indicates.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating has fallen from 53.2 per cent in July to 45.5 per cent, according to a poll released by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research (TISR) on Monday.

A poll conducted mid-July reported 53.2 per cent public approval for Taiwan’s president, who took office on May 20.

Since then, public approval of Tsai’s performance has declined to 45.5 per cent, while her disapproval rating has risen to 39.8 percent, the TISR reported on Monday.

Public trust for Tsai has ebbed as well, from 57 per cent at the start of her administration to 49.2 per cent in the TISR’s latest poll.

Lower ratings for Cabinet

Tsai’s premier, Lin Chuan, fared even worse in the poll:  At least 40.4 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with Lin, while only 37.3 per cent held favorable feelings towards his leadership.

For ministers of the Cabinet, the disapproval rating stood at 44.3 per cent; only 32.4 per cent of poll respondents were in favour of their handling of recent issues.

Damaged image

Since taking office on May 20, Tsai’s administration has weathered controversy for its handling of incidents including flooding at the Taoyuan airport, the China Airlines flight attendant strike, a downgrade of Taiwan’s title at the World Health Assembly and labour reform.

It was also hit with criticism for canceling toll-free nighttime travel on freeways over Dragon Boat Festival.

Other incidents that appeared to have dented the Tsai administration’s public image are Taiwan’s Navy misfire of a missile that killed a Taiwanese national, as well as its handling of a South China Sea ruling that undercut R.O.C.’s claim on Taiping Island.

More recent incidents are a tour bus blaze that killed 26 passengers on board, a now-resigned envoy’s DUI violation and Tsai’s aborted campaign to install Hsieh Wen-ting and Lin Chin-fang in the Judicial Yuan.