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May 29, 2017

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DPP renews call for Cabinet reshuffle

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) renewed its call for personnel changes to the Cabinet yesterday, after the official statistics office downgraded Taiwan's gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to 1.05 percent.

Yesterday the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (主計總處) lowered Taiwan's GDP growth forecast for 2012 to 1.05 percent, from an estimate of 1.66 percent made this August.

The GDP forecast was 4.58 percent last August, said DPP caucus whip Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) at the Legislative Yuan yesterday. Since then, the GDP growth forecast has been adjusted downward nine times to reach today's 1.05 percent.

Pan and DPP caucus Secretary-General Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) demanded that Chen replace Cabinet officials responsible for finance and economic affairs, to give the government "any hope" of revitalizing Taiwan's "dormant economy."

Meanwhile at the DPP headquarters, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang seconded the call.

Su attributed the GDP downgrade to weakening consumer confidence, according to DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲). When people are pessimistic about the economy, they are afraid to spend money, Su said.

According to Lin, in presiding remarks at the DPP's Central Standing Committee (中常會) Su said: "An Executive Yuan that has lost the people's confidence is destined to not work."

This September, the DPP's legislative caucus initiated a motion of no-confidence against the Cabinet that was voted down by the Legislative Yuan's Kuomintang majority.

"The DPP called for 'reordering the Cabinet to rescue the economy,'" said Lin. "But for some reason, President Ma Ying-jeou insists on no change to the Cabinet. The president must give a clear account to the people."

By law, the DPP's no-confidence motion may not be repeated for another year, but Lin said changes are crucial.

"The people are no longer able to tolerate Sean Chen's Cabinet. President Ma must face this reality," he said.

During the party's Central Standing Committee, the chairman touted a package of 13 measures aimed at boosting the economy through "strengthening cities and counties, protecting the family and assisting the youth," according to Lin.

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