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September 22, 2017

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Former Legislative Yuan speaker calls for cooperation

Kuomintang lawmaker Wang Jing-pyng addressed the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday urging that the pan-blue and pan-green coalitions put down their political differences and seek consensus on national matters for the sake of the people.

In a rare move since he retired as the nation's longest-serving Legislative Yuan speaker in February of this year, Wang read out an 11-page statement at the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday afternoon.

"From labor rights, national pension reform and local land expropriations, to importing U.S. pork and Japanese food from former radioactive areas, diverse opinions on public issues have already split public opinion during Ma's tenure," Wang said.

"Nonetheless, with the Democratic Progressive Party now in control of the government, protests continued, and even worse — they have occurred on a greater scale.

"Society is still falling apart, people are more anxious and all previous problems remained unsolved."

Wang pointed out that in the five months since President Tsai Ing-wen took office, polls have continued to dive.

Furthermore, the Cabinet is facing a lower approval rating than the president, Wang said, which has led to calls for a Cabinet reshuffle.

Wang said he believes frequent replacement of Cabinet members — especially department heads — was one critical reason for the government's "inefficiency in addressing the people's needs."

Cabinet Reshuffle 'not the way out'

Cabinet reshuffles have been repeatedly adopted by ruling parties since 2000 to bolster sinking public opinion polls but have never been successful, Wang said.

He urged the KMT to establish a long-term relationship with the ruling party that is cooperative as well as competitive, and to win the next election based the party's policies and views.

"The (KMT) must not wait passively for the ruling party to make mistakes," he said.

In terms of foreign affairs, Wang said that he "regrets" how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs deployed many of its foreign embassies during a time of difficulty for a country seeking to strengthen its diplomatic ties.

Addressing cross-strait relations, Wang said that no matter whether Tsai plans to seek closer ties or to keep distance from mainland China, "the people ought be informed of the consequences."

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