May 19 & 20, Days to Watch in Taipei for Ma's 2nd Presidential Inauguration

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Friday May 18, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

It is not quite the Ides of May--that day passed four days ago, but as Taiwan gets ready for Ma Ying-jeou's 2nd Inauguration, there are storms brewing. Remember back in January where some pundits were saying that Ma had another mandate and I said, not so. Well those who said mandate will be having a hard time making their case in the coming two days. Ma's rating has hit an all time low--lower than any president, even Chen Shui-bian at his worst. And Taipei is looking more like a city under siege than a city celebrating Ma's 2nd term.

Seventy (70) per cent of the people polled say they are unhappy with Ma. More than 2/3rds of the people say they have no confidence in the next four years. And 2/3rds have no confidence that the economic situation will improve. Not the best of circumstances.

One could say, what were these people thinking four months ago when 51.6 per cent elected Ma as President? And one could say that politics and voters are fickle. Regardless, it is not an auspicious beginning for Ma's second term.

Have they finally connected the dots on Ma's performance or lack of it? Have they finally smelled the coffee? The final item to watch will be how large will the protest parades and demonstrations be on the 19th and the 20th. Stay tuned.