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Ma Ying-jeou least popular of Taiwan's elected presidents: Poll

Ma comes in behind disgraced former President Chen Shui-bian, just ahead of late dictator Chiang Kai-shek

Former President Ma Ying-jeou

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Late Taiwan leader Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) was ranked number one in a public opinion poll in which respondents were asked to evaluate the incumbent and former Taiwanese leaders for their contribution to Taiwan’s overall development, according to the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation on Monday (Aug. 24).

Late President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) trails closely behind Chiang Ching-kuo by half a percentage point.

Former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is currently out of prison on medical bail after a corruption conviction, trails Lee by a large margin — but he is still ahead of his successor, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). Late dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) came in last, with a score of less than 60 points.

Since 1949, when the Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taiwan after their defeat in China, Taiwan has seen seven leaders, including Chiang Kai-shek, Yen Chia-kan (嚴家淦), Chiang Ching-kuo, Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shui-bian, Ma Ying-jeou and incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). As Yen was in office only for a short time and merely a nominal figurehead with no real power, he was not included in the evaluation.

Respondents were asked to give a score from 0 to 100 to all the leaders for their contribution to the country’s overall development. Chiang Kai-shek received the lowest score, with only 58 percent of the respondents giving him a score of more than 60.

Ma was the second to last in the evaluation, coming in only slightly ahead of the dictator.

The poll also shows that Tsai received the most favorable evaluation, with 66 percent of all respondents older than 20 years old giving her high marks for her handling of national affairs and only 20 percent disapproving of her administration.

With regard to the possibility of war breaking out across the Taiwan Strait, 41 percent of respondents were worried, while 58 percent were not. Only 1,090 people participated in the survey.

Ma Ying-jeou least popular of Taiwan's elected presidents: Poll
(Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation photo)