Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday announced a new Cabinet line-up, changing key posts with a heavy focus on economics.
The premier introduced nine incoming Cabinet members, most notably new minister of economic affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆), an outgoing vice minister of the economic affairs. Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) chairman Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉), a outgoing policymaking member of the FSC; and Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp (TSE) chairman Gordon Chen (陳樹), a outgoing vice minister of finance.
The new appointments allow the premier to better make his mark on the Cabinet, as all of the appointees replace people who had been chosen by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
A high-ranking Cabinet official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that there were a number of reasons for Su to shuffle the posts at this time.
First, the official said, as this is the first shuffle since the president announced in June that he would no longer be involved in Cabinet affairs, it consolidates Su's authority as premier.
Also, the Conference on Sustaining Taiwan's Economic Development held last week provided Su with a good opportunity to focus on economic issues.
Finally, Su is leaving for a visit to Chad tomorrow.
When asked whether Chen had been notified of the new personnel arrangements, Su said that the president had already authorized him to take action.
"He [the president] cares about this issue, for sure. But he told me already that I was fully authorized to take care of this myself. When my decision was made, I reported it to the president at the first opportunity," Su said.
Among the new posts, the FSC chairmanship was among the most discussed yesterday, because former chairman Kong Jaw-sheng (
However, Su said that recent decisions involving a media watchdog agency gave him the legal authority to appoint a new FSC chief, even though Kong had not resigned.
"According to applicable personnel laws, in the event that someone is suspended, the position will be regarded as a vacancy that can be filled," Su said. "The FSC chairman's spot cannot be left vacant forever."
As of press time, Kong had not said whether he would legally challenge the new appointment.
Other appointments include Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) minister Shih Nun-jeh (施能傑), vice minister of the interior Lin Mei-chu (林美珠), Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics vice minister Lu Du-chin (鹿篤瑾), RDEC vice minister Liu Chien-hsin (劉建忻), TSE general manager Hsu Jen-shou (許仁壽) and GRETAI Securities Market chairman Lu Daung-yen (呂東英).
Meanwhile, additional Cabinet appointments will be made when Su returns to Taiwan after his visit to Chad, Cabinet officials said.
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