Tue, Jan 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh and Cabinet tender resignations

LAST HURRAH Premier Frank Hsieh held a final Cabinet meeting and posed for a commemorative photo, while insisting that his `co-existence' policy was not a failure

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Outgoing Premier Frank Hsieh, center, along with his Cabinet members, pose for a farewell photograph after their final meeting yesterday morning.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday tendered his Cabinet's resignation and today will be the last day of work for Hsieh and many of his 45-member Cabinet.

Premier-designate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and his team will take their oaths of office tomorrow.

Hsieh said that he would most regret not having a chance to file a request to the legislature to re-consider this year's budget proposal and that he did not have a chance to experience the result of the "co-existence" policy that he has been promoting ever since he took office last February.

He said that stepping down as premier does not mean the end of "co-existence."

"Although I am now leaving, it does not necessarily mean that this `co-existence' policy failed," he said.

"I will continue to dedicate myself to this country as a civilian," he said.

He stepped down last week to take responsibility for the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) losses in last month's three-in-one local government elections.

Hsieh called a final Cabinet meeting yesterday morning, during which he gave a 15-minute long speech expressing his gratitude to his Cabinet members.

The last official document he signed was the resignation letter for himself and his Cabinet members.

Hsieh, however, did not forget to promote the achievements of his Cabinet, including the new labor insurance mechanism and the Alternative Minimum Taxation (最低稅負制度) plan.

"I'm so glad that we maintained a perfect balance of steady and regular development of the economy, social justice and environmental protection," he said. "I think my fellow Cabinet members did a good job in reaching those goals."

He said that to examine oneself, one must bow first.

"When you bow, you will hear people's voices a lot clearer," he said. "Cold winter will end soon and warm spring will come after."

Although Hsieh said that he will continue to devote himself to the country by writing, delivering speeches and participating in social activities, Cabinet Secretary-General and Spokesman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had more than once invited Hsieh to become secretary-general of the Presidential Office.

Hsieh declined the offer.

"They [Presidential Office officials] were still calling me and asking whether the premier would accept the offer during the premier's speech in today's Cabinet meeting," Cho said. "Actually, the president first offered his invitation to the premier on Jan. 16. But the premier insisted on going his own way to serve the people."

As for the rumor that Cho would campaign for the year-end Taipei mayor's seat on behalf of the DPP, Cho was coy, saying that a rumor remains a rumor.

"I can only say that I will definitely vote instead of being voted upon," he said.

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