Mon, Jan 21, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Yu Shyi-kun working on new Cabinet

SCOUTING The likely new premier met with possible new Cabinet members yesterday while the incumbent kept mum concerning the reshuffle

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

The man in line to become the nation's next premier was busy receiving possible new Cabinet members yesterday at his official residence in downtown Taipei.

Yu Shyi-kun, currently the secretary-general to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), may announce the new Cabinet lineup this afternoon.

According to sources at the Presidential Office, the new Cabinet members could be sworn in on Wednesday.

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) will lead the Cabinet in resigning en masse this morning.

Seen entering Yu's residence yesterday were Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), Cabinet secretary-general; Su Tzen-ping (蘇正平), head of the Government Information Office; Chen Che-nan (陳哲男), deputy secretary-general to the president; and Chang Fu-mei (張富美), chairwoman of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission.

According to sources, President Chen has already decided who will head the Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mainland Affairs Council. The president will let the new premier appoint the other members of the new "combative Cabinet," they said.

Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected to retain her post as chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council. Chief of the General Staff Tang Yao-ming (湯曜明) is expected to be promoted to defense minister.

Eugene Chien (簡又新), deputy secretary-general to the president, is the leading candidate to become foreign affairs minister.

Sources say Vice Premier Lai In-jaw (賴英照) is likely to step down from his post. The vacancy may be filled by a non-DPP member with a strong financial background.

Lai, who served on the Council of Grand Justices before taking up his current position, might return to his previous job.

Chiou also may step down and be appointed as a minister without portfolio.

Other Cabinet officials who might step down include Chang Po-ya (張博雅), minister of the interior; Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗), minister of education; Chen Po-chih (陳博志), chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development; and Chen Hsi-huang (陳希煌), chairman of the Council of Agriculture.

Those likely to hang onto their jobs include Chen Ding-nan (陳定南); minister of justice; Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭). minister of transportation and communications; Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), minister of economic affairs; Yen Ching-chang (顏慶章), minister of finance; and Lin Chuan (林全), head of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

Yen and Tang are two of the five KMT members who hold positions in the current Cabinet.

Premier Chang remained low key yesterday over the impending Cabinet reshuffle. "I totally respect the decision made by President Chen," Chang said yesterday on an environmental inspection trip conducted in his hometown of Kaohsiung.

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