Taiwan public opinion nearly split on Ma Ying-jeou’s indictment: Poll

A poll found no significant gap between support and opposition of the former president

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Public opinion in the case brought against former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is nearly split between those who believe he is innocent of the charges and those who believe the prosecutors and courts will ensure justice is served, according to an Apple Daily poll, the results of which were published this morning.

Former President Ma was indicted yesterday on charges of leaking confidential information, in violation of the Communication Security and Surveillance Act and Personal Information Protection Act, in a wiretapping case dating back to 2013. The Taipei District Court is expected to rule on the case on March 28.

Of the 322 people who answered the poll, 43.79 percent believe Taiwan’s former president is innocent, while 48.76 percent will await the results of the case. Another 7.45 percent answered, "Do not know/no comment."

The phone survey was conducted through a random sampling of citizens. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.

Some netizens laughed in derision about the poll and its small sample size. While others called for harsh sentencing of the former president for his alleged crimes with some calling the charges political retaliation. Still a few had crude language in reference to those who believe in Ma’s innocence.

A few commenters noted that a landline phone survey likely excluded younger Taiwanese citizens.

“[The indictment] is the best White Day gift I could send to Ma,” said Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday.