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Jiang keeps Cabinet reshuffle cards close to chest

Jiang keeps Cabinet reshuffle cards close to chest

With rumors rife on an impending reshuffle in the Jiang Yii-huah Cabinet, the Premier said recently in an interview, "We have certain principles in mind, but it is not convenient to say right now whether a cabinet reshuffle will occur or which ministries might be affected."

One person figuring in many rumors about a cabinet reshuffle is Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan, who will reach the age limit for returning to academia in March next year. Also mentioned frequently is Minister of Health and Welfare Wen-ta Chiu, who has been buffeted by a series of scandals involving food security Taiwan’s food and beverage industry. The sticking point concerning Chiu could be a lack of availability of candidates suitable to replace him. Cabinet spokesman Cheng Li-wen has rebuffed a number of enquiries about possible changes by insisting that "there are no plans for a reshuffle of the cabinet by the Executive Yuan."

In addition, next year the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) will be merged with the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) and selected agencies of the Public Construction Commission to form the National Development Committee (NDC). At this critical point when the regulations for the planned Free Economic Demonstration Zone have just been released, unless something unexpected occurs Kuan Chung-min, the current head of the CEPD, will be tabbed for the post of first chairman of the NDC, with the vice chairman’s slot to be filled by incumbent chairman Sung Yu-hsieh of RDEC.

In the face of all these rumors, Premier Jiang continues to tell interviewers that at present no plans are under foot for a cabinet reshuffle; saying that it would be more appropriate to wait until the Legislative Yuan adjourns. At the same time, Jiang added, if a minister’s term expires or there are other factors such as physical health issues, each adjustment will be handled when the situation arises.

Jiang also said that reorganization or adjustment in the make-up of the Executive Yuan is an extremely important matter and that "We would never say that there will not be any movements, nor will we casually make announcements about how big a change will be involved.” What is important, Jiang said, is that a lot of observation and evaluation goes into making these kinds of decisions.

Updated : 2021-06-24 14:17 GMT+08:00