The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed criticism of the Cabinet’s failure to realize its goal of turning the economy around within three months, and insisted that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) assessment of its performance has no timeline.
In a recent interview with UFO Radio, Ma voiced support for Premier Sean Chen’s (陳冲) efforts to boost the nation’s economy slowly but steadily amid global economic decline. He said the government has seen some positive signs since September, and that he can see “light at the end of the tunnel.”
His comments about Chen have been seen as a defense of the Cabinet’s performance after he vowed in September that it would turn the economy around and make improvements people can see within three months.
“It is the government’s duty to pursue more benefits for the people. President Ma will continue to instruct the Cabinet to present policies to boost the economy and assess its performance. We hope people can join the government to strive for a better economy,” Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said yesterday.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has slammed the Ma administration for its poor performance and gave Ma an “F” for his year-end economic performance, urging people to take to the streets to voice their anger and demanding a Cabinet reshuffle.
Top Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians yesterday expressed their support for Chen.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday pledged to complete his remaining two-year term and lay down solid foundations for local developments, dismissing speculation that he could seek the premiership.
“As a local governor, it is my priority to address people’s needs and boost the local economy. The nation’s economy has witnessed a slow recovery in the past months and I believe Premier Chen, as a finance expert, will do a better job given more time,” he said.
Another potential candidate for premier, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), also supported Chen yesterday as he celebrated his second anniversary in the job.
“Central and local governments should work together to improve the economy, and we should give Premier Chen more encouragement,” he said.