Wed, Jan 23, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Yu's Cabinet has familiar faces in it

STAYING ON Among those returning to their old jobs at the executive branch are Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan and Chen Chu of the Council of Labor Affairs

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Incoming premier Yu Shyi-kun appointed several familiar faces to his Cabinet lineup yesterday, among them popular Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南).

Other returning players include Chen Chu (陳菊), chairwoman of the Council of Labor Affairs; Lee Ming-liang (李明亮), minister of health; and the New Party's Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), head of the Environmental Protection Administration.

Also staying in their posts are Wang Chun (王郡), director of the Coast Guard Administration, and Lin Fang-mei (林芳玫), chairwoman of the National Youth Commission.

Yu yesterday named former Kaohsiung County commissioner Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲) as the minister of the interior.

Former Hsinchu County commissioner Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗) will head up the Council of Agriculture. Taitung County Commissioner and KMT member Chen Chien-nien (陳建年) will take over as chairman of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs.

Yu is expected to announce 12 more appointments today, including the minister of eduction and the head of the Council for Cultural Affairs.

The appointments will conclude tomorrow with the appointments for the Ministries of Transportation and Communications, Finance and Economic Affairs.

Speculation was rife that Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) would hang on to her job as chairwoman of the Council for Cultural Affairs.

Huang Jung-tsun (黃榮村), currently a minister without portfolio, is the leading candidate to replace Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗) as minister of education.

Yu is still searching for a minister of economic affairs after Christine Tsung (宗才怡), president of China Airlines, turned down the offer.

Lin Lin-san (林陵三), vice minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, might be promoted and given the reins of that agency.

Addressing reporters at the Presidential Office, Yu said that the new Cabinet members appointed yesterday had two characteristics in common: professionalism and extensive political experience.

"It looks as if we have an `ex-county commissioner club' here," Yu said. "Don't belittle them. Each and every one of them has solid public support behind them and possesses extensive political experience as a local government chief."

Yu noted that four of the appointments unveiled yesterday are former local government heads. Yu Cheng-hsien is a two-term Kaohsiung county commissioner; Chen Ding-nan served two terms as Ilan County commissioner; Fan Chen-tsung served two terms as Hsinchu County commissioner; and Chen Chien-nien is also two-term Taitung County commissioner.

Yu yesterday again dismissed talk that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had chosen Cabinet members on his behalf. "None of the officials appointed today had been received nor contacted by the President before taking the job," the incoming premier said.

But Chen Chien-nien let slip that he had met with the president on Jan. 16 to talk about the position of chairman of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs.

The KMT's Chen said yesterday he was willing to accept any punishment given him by his party, which has refused to allow members to serve in the DPP government.

"For the sake of indigenous people and the entire nation, I've decided to put national interests before politics," Chen said.

Yu also dismissed the chance of the premier concurrently holding the DPP chairmanship, an idea current DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) proposed on Monday.

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