Kaohsiung Mayor and premier-designate Frank Hsieh (
"We have many ideas in common. Chen is also a Kaohsiung native, so I have nominated him to fill the post that I will leave vacant," Hsieh said.
Hsieh yesterday appointed Albert Lin (林耀文), the director-general of the Kaohsiung City Government's department of information, as special assistant to the premier.
Hsieh said he was communicating with President Chen Shui-bian (
The president departs today on the five-day trip to Palau and the Solomon Islands.
Speaking on his appointment as acting mayor for the southern special municipality, Chen Chi-mai told reporters that "stability, negotiation and progress" were the three principles with which he would run Kaohsiung. His appointment is widely seen as confirmation that he will be the Democratic Progressive Party's candidate for Kaohsiung mayor next year.
The new Cabinet will take office on Tuesday.
Hsieh said "the Cabinet line-up will be finalized in two days," adding that he will be in contact with the president during his trip, and that "it is alright" if the president announces the vice premier during this time.
"Changes to the Cabinet will be small," Hsieh said. "The real reshuffling of the Cabinet may take place six months from now."
"Minor adjustments to the Cabinet will leave some room for reconciliation between the government and the opposition alliance," he said.
Hsieh said that delaying substantial change was justified because some members of the Cabinet had joined only recently. In addition, other members of Cabinet needed time to decide if they will be running in the mayoral and county commissioner elections at the end of the year, he said.
Hsieh said May was a good month to make these changes.
Asked about the identity of the next vice premier, Hsieh said he or she would not necessarily be from a financial or economics background.
"Because [Premier] Yu Shyi-kun's Cabinet has done well improving the economic situation, the new Cabinet will focus more on negotiations and dialogue with the opposition and China," he added.
Reports suggest that Chen Chi-mai's replacement might be the only significant new appointment to the new Cabinet.
Chinese-language newspapers have speculated that Vice Minister of Justice Morley Shih (
Shih would replace Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (
Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (
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