The new Cabinet to be led by premier-designate Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) is nearing completion, with 12 positions filled and Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) set to assume a caretaker role during the Lunar New Year holiday before Jiang’s team is sworn in on Feb. 18.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is scheduled to approve the resignation of Chen’s Cabinet this morning following the weekly Cabinet meeting, where Chen’s team of 89 political appointees are to resign en masse.
That will leave the Chen Cabinet in a caretaker mode until Jiang, vice premier-designate Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and the other new members take the oath of office at the Presidential Office.
The Chen Cabinet is likely to avoid making any major policy decisions or significant appointments in the interim.
The Executive Yuan yesterday announced four more appointments: Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) was tapped to replace Huang Min-kung (黃敏恭) as Executive Yuan deputy secretary-general and Greater Taichung Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) will succeed Chien.
Huang’s appointment has fueled speculation that competition for the leadership of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential election is intensifing following Jiang’s appointment, because Huang is considered a close ally of New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
Public Construction Commission Deputy Minister Chen Chwen-jing (陳純敬) will become deputy minister of transportation and communications, replacing Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), who was promoted to head the ministry after Mao was appointed vice premier, the Executive Yuan said in a statement.
Presidential Office spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) has been named vice minister of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission and will be replaced by deputy spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏).
Lee said she was honored to take up the post and promised to work hard.
“A spokesperson’s job is to communicate with the press. It’s a 24-hour service, and I expect to become the catalyst for communication between the president and the press, allowing the two sides to understand each other better and offer quick responses to the press’ needs,” she said at KMT headquarters.
Lee, who covered the Presidential Office beat when she was a Central News Agency reporter, will be the office’s youngest spokesperson.
She said that neither gender nor age should be the focus of the post.
KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) will replace Lee, according to Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑), director of the KMT’s Culture and Communication Committee.
Hsiao praised Yin for demonstrating great political judgement and executive skills, and said he expected him to revitalize the party’s 100-year-old organization and attract younger members to the party.
Both Yin and Lee served as campaign spokespersons for Ma’s last presidential campaign. Yin, 30, also serves as the director of the KMT’s Youth Corps.
The reshuffle has included new appointments to 12 positions at vice-ministerial level or above, along with appointments announced earlier in the week, including Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) as minister of economic affairs, Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) as minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development and Schive Chi (薛琦) as a minister without portfolio.
Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) has been appointed for a fourth term.