DPP's Tsai Ing-wen vows to help party regain fighting spirit

Opposition leader's comments follow polls showing her as nation's favorite politician

Opposition leader Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday she found that many people wished her Democratic Progressive Party would soon regain its fighting spirit.
Her comments followed a couple of opinion polls showing a rapid erosion in support for President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) Kuomintang administration, as well as rising personal popularity for Tsai herself.
Tsai said that after visiting party officials and grassroots activists across the island, she had come to the conclusion that the DPP had not lost the support of the 5.44 million people who had voted for its presidential candidate, Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), in the March election.
There were also a lot of people who still wanted the DPP to regain its footing and turn into a combative force again, she said.
According to yesterday's local Chinese-language United Daily News, Tsai sent a letter to party workers saying, "we will stand up again very quickly."
The paper quoted her as saying she was worried about the effect of the party's personnel cuts on the morale of its activists. "This is the party's most difficult time, if we can pass this period, we will return step by step," the paper quoted Tsai as saying in her letter.
An opinion poll released by cable station TVBS showed the opposition leader as Taiwan's most popular politician, with President Ma Ying-jeou dropping to seventh place from first place in the previous edition of the same poll last August.
Tsai warned not to read too much in opinion polls, since they only reflected a temporary situation and could change within a short time. It was important for politicians to learn the lessons from the trends behind those survey results, she said.
A DPP opinion poll released Thursday showed public dissatisfaction with President Ma Ying-jeou and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) reaching 56 percent.
The survey also showed that 78 percent of respondents thought the economy was in a worse state now than one year ago, when the DPP was still in power.
The DPP faulted President Ma's government for paying too much attention to relations with China, while neglecting the economy.