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KMT lawmakers demand full Cabinet reshuffle after DPP drubbing

2018/12/02 17:05:00

KMT legislative caucus secretary-general Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗, center) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators have called for a full Cabinet reshuffle, saying the Cabinet led by Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has lost its legitimacy after the party's major defeat in Taiwan's local elections on Nov. 24.

Taiwan's people cast a vote of no-confidence against the DPP administration through the elections, and the Cabinet should be overhauled, KMT legislative caucus secretary-general Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗) said at a press conference Sunday.

The KMT won control of 15 of Taiwan's 22 cities and counties in the local government elections, a net pickup of nine seats, dealing an embarrassing defeat to the ruling DPP led by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), which ended up with only six seats, down from 13 previously.

The KMT lawmakers made their appeal after Lai accepted on Saturday the resignations of three Cabinet officials -- Environmental Protection Administration chief Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), Ministry of Transportation and Communications head Wu Hong-mo (吳宏謀) and Council of Agriculture chief Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢).

Tseng said Central Election Commission (CEC) Vice Chairman Chen Chiao-chien (陳朝建), Education Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮), Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and the heads of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, the National Communications Commission and government agencies responsible for national security should also get the boot.

Tseng suggested that the government choose people for a new Cabinet based only on their ability and expertise rather than political affiliation and ideology.

The new Cabinet should also focus on spurring economic growth by addressing the shortages of land, water, power, manpower, and talent facing Taiwanese manufacturers and solving the problem of low wages in Taiwan to meet the people's expectations, he said.

KMT Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) defeated KMT rival Eric Chu (朱立倫) by 3.08 million votes in the 2016 presidential election, but the DPP lost to the KMT by 1.2 million votes in the Nov. 24 local government elections.

The loss of 4.28 million votes reflected disillusionment in the Tsai administration, Ko said, and she questioned whether the DPP had done enough to take responsibility for its defeat simply by letting go of three ministers and Wu Yin-ning (吳音寧), general manager of Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp.

In response, DPP legislative caucus secretary-general Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said the DPP caucus respected the Executive Yuan's steps and methods in adjusting its structure.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao)
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