Tue, Feb 01, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh dangles vice premiership as Cabinet sworn in

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

Premier-designate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday announced more Cabinet appointments, but in an attempt to improve relations with the opposition, the important post of vice premier has been left vacant for the time being.

Hsieh said the vacancy allows the DPP more leverage in forging reconciliation with the pan-blue camp.

Hsieh said he was grateful for outgoing Vice Premier Yeh Chu-lan's (葉菊蘭) magnanimity in offering to stand down. Given that the pan-green camp does not have a legislative majority, Hsieh said, the DPP must strive for reconciliation and a working partnership with the opposition to ensure domestic political stability.

But because political parties are busy with today's election for legislative and deputy legislative speaker, Hsieh said, the atmosphere is presently not conducive to cross-party reconciliation.

The appointments announced yesterday included Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), who will become Cabinet secretary-general.

Other appointments include Chang Chun-yen (張俊彥), secretary-general of the Kaohsiung City Government, who will become director-general of the Central Personnel Administration.

Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lin Yung-chien (林永堅) will replace Vice Minister of the Interior Lee Chin-yung (李進勇). Lee Chin-yung will move to the Public Construction Commission, where he will serve as vice chairman.

Hsieh is scheduled to take over from Premier Yu Shyi-kun at a Cabinet meeting today. Hsieh will then lead the new Cabinet officials in taking their oaths of office.

Hsieh yesterday praised Lee Ying-yuan's extensive experience and negotiating and communication skills.

This is the second time Lee Ying-yuan has been appointed as the Cabinet's secretary-general. Valued for his negotiation skills, the 52-year-old PhD-holder in health economics from the University of North Carolina was first appointed to the post by Yu in January 2002.

He was in the post for less than a year before stepping down to run as a DPP candidate against Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the mayoral election of December 2002.

Lee Ying-yuan was a legislator and Taiwan's deputy representative to the US before taking up the posts of Cabinet secretary-general and DPP secretary-general.

Hsieh yesterday also noted Chang Chun-yen's experience in the civil sector. Chang, who will fill the secretary-general's post vacated by Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), served as director of the Kaohsiung City Government's personnel department for six years.

He had also been the Tainan City Government's financial affairs chief and a Kaohsiung Bank chairman.

As for Lin Yung-chien, Hsieh said he had been aware of Lin's performance as Kaohsiung deputy mayor in the last few years.

As vice minister of the interior, Hsieh said, Lin would assist the Cabinet in the handling of regional affairs.

Lee Chin-yung replaces Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文隆) as vice chairman of the Public Construction Commission.

Hsieh said that as a lawyer-turned-politician, Lee Chin-yung would be able to professionally supervise the commission's procurement and BOT projects. Cheng will move to Kaohsiung to take up the deputy mayor's post.

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