President to continue reforms in response to approval rating slip

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will continue reforms to meet the public expectations of her government, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Saturday.

“The government will continue and speed up reforms to live up to the expectations of the people,” Huang said as the latest public opinion poll showed that the approval ratings of Tsai and Premier Lin Chuan (林全) have slipped compared to their first 100 days in office.

“The core task of the government is to find and solve problems,” Huang said, adding that anything that is beneficial to public welfare and overall national development will be done.

Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the Cabinet respects the public voice and will view the poll as a prod for more efforts in governance.

According to the poll, published that day by Apple Daily, 58 percent of the respondents are dissatisfied with Tsai’s performance, compared with 34 percent who said they are satisfied.

In terms of Lin’s performance, 59 percent of those polled said they are not satisfied, compared with 31 percent who said they are satisfied.

On five major policies — cross-Taiwan Strait ties, the economy, transitional justice, labor and justice reforms — the disapproval ratings all surpassed 50 percent, with dissatisfaction over financial and economic policies the highest, at 57.85 percent.

Both the president and the premier saw their approval ratings slipped six months into the office compared with the ratings 100 days into office.

Professor Liao Da-chi (廖達琪) of National Sun Yat-sen University said that it is not surprising Tsai’s approval ratings have slipped, noting that “almost none of her policies have been without controversy over the past six months.”

Professor Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) of National Dong Hwa University attributed the slide to Tsai’s desire “to do too many things at the same time and she has opened too many battlegrounds.”

Former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) recently slammed Tsai over her cross-strait policy.

Tsai’s approval rating can be expected to fall further, mainly because of her administration’s policy toward China, according to Lee.

In an interview in the Thursday edition of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper, Lee said that while Tsai’s policy is to maintain the status quo in cross-strait relations, she has not explained clearly what that means.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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