Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 3 News List

President supports a streamlined Cabinet

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday he hoped the new legislature would approve revisions to a law on streamlining the Cabinet before the presidential election next month.

Saying government streamlining was a global trend, Chen said he hoped the government restructuring plan would succeed.

"For a country with a population of 23 million people, there are 39 government agencies. It is a big job to cut it down to 22," he said. "There were different voices, but we hope there will be progress."

Chen thanked Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) for proposing that the ruling and opposition parties work to pass amendments to the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan (行政院組織法) before the presidential election on March 22.

The new president and the new government would then have one or two years to prepare before the revised law takes effect, Chen said.

Chen made the remarks during a Lunar New Year gathering at the Presidential Office yesterday morning. He also made three New Year's resolutions.

In addition to the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan, Chen said he would like to see a smooth, satisfactory and successful presidential election.

Regardless of who takes the presidency, Chen said it was his duty and responsibility to hand over power on May 20 and he expected full cooperation from all government agencies to accomplish the task.

Chen said that despite the differences between the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), he hoped the two referendums would succeed because the 23 million people of Taiwan must send out the message that the nation aspires to become a member of the world body.

The DPP has proposed holding a referendum on joining the UN using the name "Taiwan," while the KMT has suggested a referendum on "rejoining" the organization using the Republic of China, Taiwan or any other "practical" title that would uphold the nation's dignity.

Meanwhile, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said yesterday that the Cabinet was set to approve draft amendments to the Organic Law of the Executive Yuan today.

The draft integrated the views of the last legislature and the Cabinet will respect the opinion of the newly elected legislature, Chang said.

Under the draft, the Cabinet would reduce the 36 agencies to 26, with 14 ministries, seven commissions and five independent institutions.

Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) yesterday dismissed allegations that the legal revisions were related to the presidential election.

The government is duty bound to do whatever is good for the country and the people, Shieh said, adding that it would make the draft amendments a priority bill for the new legislative session.

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