The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) caucus yesterday condemned what it called the Cabinet’s “hasty and surprising” reshuffle for disrepecting the legislature, as it demanded suspending the ongoing interpellation of Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) because the ministerial changes rendered it meaningless.
The DPP caucus said the reshuffle late on Tuesday night was “another midnight ambush” by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
“I called for suspending the interpellation session and for Jiang to deliver a new administration report to the Legislative Yuan because major Cabinet policies could change after the new ministers assume their posts,” DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) told a press conference organized by the party caucus.
Fellow DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) echoed Chiu, saying that questioning incoming ministers in the legislature would be meaningless.
The Ma administration “has fallen helplessly in love with announcing major policies late at night,” DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said, citing as examples the announcement of the change in the policy on US beef, former premier Sean Chen’s dismissal and the increases in fuel and electricity prices.
The move to announce the reshuffle in the middle of an interpellation of Cabinet members stands in contempt of the legislature, since several outgoing ministers, including Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), were questioned by lawmakers on Tuesday, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said.
Wu said that the reshuffle could be Jiang’s attempt to build a team loyal to him by ousting those who are “not on his side,” seeing as the premier has kept most ministers in charge of economic affairs in their posts despite their being considered the most incompetent by the public.
The reshuffle was done hastily and without respect for the outgoing ministers, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday morning.
“However, the more serious concern is that the reshuffle appears to be serving a hidden agenda: Jiang’s personal resentment against some ministers, infighting within the Cabinet and the Ma administration maneuvering to gain favor in the seven-in-one elections,” Su said.
Former premiers Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Yu Shyi-kun, who both served during the DPP administration, also questioned the move, with Hsieh saying Ma could be the “real decisionmaker” behind the move, while Yu said the way in which Lee was replaced felt like Jiang being a thief and was afraid that the public would find out about it.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday said it would respect the premier’s decisions.
KMT Policy Committee head Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said that the Cabinet has its concerns and reasons for the reshuffle, adding that he hoped the reorganization would help with the government’s implementation of policy.
Additional reporting by Jake Chung