Taiwan opposition mayors top poll

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Tainan Mayor William Lai finished first in a new popularity poll for the country’s mayors and county magistrates, while the ruling Kuomintang had only one member in the top-five, reports said Thursday.
Lai, a former lawmaker with the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, headed the list because he had managed to combine attention for the public with a balanced budget for this year, according to The Journalist magazine, which organized the poll with Taiwan Indicators Survey Research.
He was the first mayor of the new merger between the original Tainan City and Tainan County, facing a more complicated task than his predecessors, according to the magazine. Even though his city had obtained a new status directly under the central government, that had not led to a more generous budget, The Journalist wrote, yet Lai had succeeded in making savings and in attracting businesses to invest on a scale only exceeded by Taipei City, The Journalist wrote.
However, when asked about how much of his policies they actually felt, Lai only ended up fourth on the list, possibly because he had not been in office for too long, The Journalist wrote.
The Tainan mayor was followed by the DPP’s Yilan County Magistrate Lin Tsung-hsien, independent Fu Kun-chi from Hualien County, former DPP acting chairwoman Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, and Miaoli County Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung, the only KMT official among the first five.
At the bottom of the list was Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong, who was indicted earlier in the week for threatening police to release a woman accused of slapping an officer. Chang was preceded by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, sometimes mentioned as a 2016 KMT presidential candidate. Chang and Hau fared even worse, reaching scores below 50 percent, when respondents judged them on personal trust, the poll said.
Third from last on the list was another prominent KMT politician, Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, whose administration scored lowest on the issue of law and order.
The Journalist said the plummeting popularity of the central government of President Ma Ying-jeou might have influenced popular thinking about regional leaders of his party.
The pollsters interviewed 15,214 people by phone from August 16 to September 21. The margin of error ranged from 3.1 percent to 5.5 percent, according to TISR.