DPP slams Cabinet reshuffle
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-26 03:17 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Instead of working all out to revive the economy, President Ma Ying-jeou was moving ministers around to prepare for the year-end elections, opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Wednesday.

Late Tuesday, the news broke that Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan would be leaving the Cabinet after an alleged history of spats with Premier Jiang Yi-huah. Cabinet Secretary-General Chen Wei-zen was announced as his replacement early Wednesday, while five other government members were also moved.

The Ma Administration is always talking about moving forward to boost the economy, but in fact, it is occupied by political infighting, Su told reporters. The previous Cabinet struggled with an image of incompetence, but the new team does not give the impression of being any more combative, he added.

The opposition leader also criticized the authorities for the way the reshuffle was handled. It happened with excessive haste, without the level of respect due to the ministers affected, he said. The messy way in which the changes occurred did not benefit the country and did not correspond to the expectations of the public, according to Su.

The DPP chairman was speaking at the presentation of the party’s education policy platform. It was planning to issue a foreign policy strategy paper on Thursday and a local government policy document later. Elections for city mayors, county magistrates and local councilors nationwide take place on November 29.

DPP lawmakers faulted the premier for conducting his reshuffle just after addressing the Legislative Yuan, which amounted to a clear sign of disrespect. On Tuesday, Jiang was still taking questions from lawmakers about the Ministry of Interior’s recent problems with the household registration system, but just several hours later, he simply threw the minister out of his job, showing no respect for the Legislative Yuan, DPP lawmaker Wu Ping-juei said.

The way in which the changes were conducted was just too brutal, he said, adding that little could be expected from the new Cabinet lineup either.

DPP lawmaker Chiu Yi-ying said that as the composition of the government had been changed, the premier should also revise his program and present a new report to the Legislative Yuan. Jiang read the present report just last week at the opening of the current legislative session.

Chiu also slammed the government for announcing ministerial appointments in the middle of the night, as if the country was running on United States time. Lee’s departure from the Cabinet team became public after 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union remarked that Jiang had sacked the only member of the Cabinet who did well in the opinion polls, while leaving worse performers untouched. The Kuomintang-led administration has been struggling with poor poll ratings for almost two years, ever since shortly after Ma’s re-election in January 2012.

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