Taipei, April 26 (CNA) The cost of President Ma Ying-jeou's inauguration for a second term in office next month will be vastly reduced from his first inauguration amid domestic inflationary concerns, said the Presidential Office's spokesman Thursday.
An estimated NT$6 million (US$204,218) will be spent on the inauguration, 85 percent less than the cost of Ma's inauguration in 2008 and 91 percent less than former President Chen Shui-bian's second inauguration in 2004, said Fan Chiang Tai-chi.
Next month's ceremony will be "simple, grand, and economical," Fan Chiang said, adding that a celebration party and fireworks display will be canceled.
A banquet will still be held, however, in accordance with international etiquette, he said.
Ma's inauguration ceremony will be held May 20 at the Presidential Office in the morning, followed by an international press conference in the afternoon and a banquet at the Grand Hotel in the evening.
Some 600 guests have been invited to attend the banquet, including five heads of state of Taiwan's diplomatic allies and 223 foreign guests, as well as Taiwanese government officials and lawmakers, according to the office.
(By Kelven Huang and Ann Chen)