Leader receives boost in Taiwan
PRESIDENT Lee Teng-hui's rating among Taiwan voters ebbed slightly to 73 per cent, but a strong percentage would vote for Mr Lee if a direct presidential election was held now, according to a public opinion poll released by Gallup in Taiwan yesterday.
Nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed also said they agreed with recent proposals to hold direct presidential elections in Taiwan at the end of next year.
The survey showed that 73 per cent approved of Mr Lee's performance, while 11.4 per cent expressed dissatisfaction. This figure is lower than the 78.6 per cent positive rating expressed by a similar poll taken in May this year.
Premier Lien Chan's rating improved markedly: from 46.5 per cent in May to 64.8 per cent. Those disapproving of his performance rose to 13.3 per cent.
If direct presidential elections were held now, 41.1 per cent of Taiwan voters would cast their ballots for Mr Lee, according to the poll.
Judicial Yuan President Lin Yang-kang, Mr Lee's main challenger, would only receive 17.2 per cent of the votes.
The poll pointed to a slight decrease in the percentage of Taiwan residents favouring independence, from 23.7 per cent in May to 20 per cent.
But the ranks of opponents of Taiwan independence also dipped, from 55.3 per cent in May to 54.7 per cent.
Professor Lu Ya-li of the Political Science Department of National Taiwan University said the poll showed that ''the ruling party remains strong in many fields, but its edge is declining''.