Executive Yuan spokesman Tung Chen-yuan (童振源) yesterday rebutted a report that said Premier Lin Chuan (林全) is considering a minor Cabinet reshuffle at the end of the year to salvage the dwindling support ratings of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration.
“Regarding the report claiming that there might be a Cabinet reshuffle, Lin said that all Cabinet members are doing their utmost to push relevant policies,” Tung said, adding that what the report suggested was untrue.
Tung made the remarks one day after the Chinese-language Apple Daily published an article quoting an unnamed member of the pan-green camp as saying that a reshuffle is likely to occur at the three most heavily criticized ministries: the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
The article said that the labor ministry was singled out because of its failure to communicate with the public and other government agencies over its proposed policy to require “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” and “six work days and one rest day,” prompting protests from labor groups.
“As for the transportation ministry, it has also been shadowed by controversies, from the collection of tolls on national freeways at night during holidays and flooding at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to a strike staged by China Airlines’ flight attendants in June,” the person was quoted as saying.
The source attributed the health ministry’s unsatisfactory performance to its lack of concrete action on long-awaited reforms of the National Health Insurance Administration’s reimbursement scheme, as well as the nation’s medical referral and evaluation systems.
The report said that in an effort to improve communications between the legislative and executive branches of the government, Lin has been holding policy coordination meetings between the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan each week and poached Ho Pei-shan (何佩珊), director of Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) office, to serve as the Executive Yuan’s deputy secretary-general.
“Nevertheless, the pan-green camp remains dissatisfied with the executive branch’s performance,” the report added.
Tsai’s support ratings have noticeably declined since she was sworn in as the nation’s first female president on May 20.
Although Tsai’s approval rating remained relatively high at 56 percent in a poll published by the Taiwan Public Opinion Foundation late last month, it recorded a decline of 14 percentage points from May, while the percentage of people dissatisfied with her handling of national matters rose by 12 percentage points during the same period.
Another survey released by Taiwan Thinktank earlier this month found that Tsai’s approval rating has declined by 3 percentage points, with her disapproval rating increasing significantly by about 24 percentage points to 36 percent.
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