Cabinet reshuffle rumor ‘groundless’: spokesman

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, May 19, 2017 - Page 3

Media reports about an imminent Cabinet reshuffle to salvage the approval rating of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is “groundless,” the Presidential Office said yesterday.

“We have no such plans,” Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said in response to requests for comment on local media reports that a Cabinet reshuffle, including the replacement of Premier Lin Chuan (林全), was in the works. “The information is groundless.”

While various public opinion polls have shown differing views, it is clear that most people agree that reforms are urgent and should be expedited, he said.

The administration has made progress in bringing about such reforms, Huang said, adding that teamwork has never been better.

Local media have over the past year reported on controversy and public opposition to the government’s policies, including the introduction of a five-day workweek.

The Tsai administration has blamed the problem on government ministers’ unsatisfactory communication to explain policies to the public, resulting in the replacement of the ministers of labor, science, health and agriculture in February, the reports said.

Another Cabinet reshuffle can be expected in July, after Tsai marks her first anniversary in office tomorrow, the reports added.

Separately yesterday, Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) expressed his hope for closer ties and cooperation with the Vatican during a meeting at the Presidential Office in Taipei with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops.

Chen said he hopes Taiwan would deepen its cooperation and partnership with the Holy See to jointly advance freedom, democracy, human rights and universal love worldwide.

The vice president said he was pleased that a regional meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conference was being held in Taiwan from Monday to today and hoped it was a success.

Chen invited Baldisseri to experience firsthand religious freedom and democracy in Taiwan and the hospitality of Taiwanese.