Fri, Dec 05, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Activists dismiss Cabinet remix as meaningless sham

By Abraham Gerber and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter and staff writer, with CNA

Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui addresses reporters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Groups yesterday lambasted the likely lack of substantial personnel and policy changes in the Cabinet reorganization following the rout of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the nine-in-one elections on Saturday last week.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Wednesday named Vice Premier Mao Chih-kuo (毛治國) to replace Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), who resigned in the wake of the KMT’s abysmal showing in the polls, with sources saying that the Ma administration would carry out a limited reorganization.

Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) was rumored to have been selected as vice premier yesterday.

Representatives of civic groups yesterday joined a bipartisan slate of legislators to condemn the Ma administration’s response to public dissatisfaction with its governance.

“This time, the Cabinet reshuffling has degenerated into a formality,” Economic Democracy Union convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said, citing media outlets reporting that most ministers are not to be replaced and that the new Cabinet will continue to push Ma’s controversial cross-strait agenda.

He compared the administration’s ministers and policies to a pot of traditional Chinese medicine, saying that only the “lid” of the pot — Jiang — has been removed.

“If Ma has truly heard the public’s voice, he needs to truly review his controversial cross-strait trade and economic policies, as well as the responsible officials,” Lai said.

The group called on the government to review the foundation of its cross-strait policy, particularly by putting forward a “truly rigorous” bill to increase legislative oversight of cross-strait deals, adding that the current proposal merely enshrines the administration’s extant practices into law without increasing legislative oversight.

The group also called on the administration to pull its draft plan to establish free economic pilot zones and to cease moves to “smuggle” elements of the cross-strait service trade pact into action through executive orders without legislative approval.

National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) should all be replaced, due to their roles in drafting cross-strait policies, the group said, also naming several other officials.

Ma defended his decision to name Mao, saying the move would ensure a “seamless transition.”

Mao told reporters earlier yesterday that it would take him about two days to ready his Cabinet.

Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), 75, recently again turned down an invitation to serve as premier, Ma said, adding that he had invited Perng to form a Cabinet more than once.

Perng wrote a letter to KMT legislators who voiced hopes that he would head the next Cabinet in which he said he had refused when Ma asked on Wednesday.

Saying that in 2011 he asserted that the position of central bank governor would be his last in the government, Perng said that he had always believed a person should remain true to their principles.

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