Thu, Apr 13, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Three more named to Chen's Cabinet

CONJECTURE ABOUNDS More names were added to the president-elect's Cabinet, while speculation about who will be awarded the remaining posts continues

By Jou Ying-cheng, Irene Lin and Catherine Sung  /  STAFF REPORTERS

With the imminent hospitalization of Premier-designate Tang Fei, the schedule for the nomination of President-elect Chen Shui-bian's new Cabinet has been moved up.

Yesterday, a flurry of confirmations, refusals and continued speculation kept the media guessing, while providing new surprises in the emerging line-up.

Among those confirmed as having agreed to take up future posts in the first-ever DPP-led central government, veteran DPP lawmaker and former Ilan County Commissioner Chen Ting-nan (陳定南) stood out for his appointment as the new minister of justice.

Chang Fu-mei (張富美), a current member of the Control Yuan who served under Chen during his tenure as Taipei mayor from 1994-98, appears headed to chair the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission.

The future Cabinet will also see fresh faces in new ministries, such as Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀), a senior National Taiwan Normal University academic, who agreed yesterday to her nomination as head of the future Council for Cultural Affairs.

Former DPP Chairman Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) is also likely to be nominated as the vice president of the Examination Yuan, although family relatives told the Taipei Times yesterday they were unaware of the offer.

Another favored candidate -- for the post of Atomic Energy Council chairman -- was reported last night as being Kuo Ching-chiang (郭清江), an aerospace specialist that previously worked with Boeing.

One apparently tough choice has been over the post of minister of the interior, considered to be one of the key posts under the premier. Sources said yesterday that Chen and Tang have each offered different choices and that debate continues over who should be appointed.

Tang has pushed for the nomination of James Soong (宋楚瑜) aide Wu Rong-ming (吳容明), while Chen has shown a preference for Chang Po-ya (張博雅), now chiayi mayor. Chen, who has vowed to appoint women to one-quarter of the top government positions, has reportedly insisted that a woman take the interior minister's job.

Reports surfaced last night that Tang has agreed to give Chang the job.

One apparent disappointment for the new team, however, has been over the minister of finance, after Lin Jong-shong(林鐘雄), chairman of the East Sun Bank (玉山銀行), indicated he would decline the offer.

Another refusal came yesterday from the secretary-general of the National Security Council, Yin Tsung-wen (殷宗文), who was asked to stay on at his job in the interests of continuity for national security.

Yin issued a statement on Tuesday that he has no intention of staying on at his position, citing health reasons.

In response, President-elect Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who has made great efforts to retain Yin, said yesterday he understood and respected Yin's decision, and needed more time to figure out who would fit the position in Yin's absence.

Chen made the response yesterday after he and Vice President-elect Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) were briefed on the procedures for the coming power transfer by the council yesterday.

Later, however, reports emerged stating that Chuang Min-yao (莊銘耀), Taiwan's representative to Japan, has been tipped instead to replace Yin.

Chuang is a career naval officer and served as national policy adviser to President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) between 1995-96.

His position is expected to be filled by current Council for Economic Planning and Development Chairman Chiang Ping-kung (江丙坤), who previously served as the commercial attach? in Japan from 1967-74.

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