National Development Council (NDC) Minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) confirmed last night that he had tendered his resignation after the Nov. 29 nine-in-one elections.
In a statement released at 8pm yesterday, Kuan said that the elections, in which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) suffered a massive defeat, demonstrated “the majority of voters’ discontent and impatience with the current political and economic situation.”
However, Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) persuaded him to stay at the time, Kuan said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The Executive Yuan late last night said that Kuan’s resignation has been approved, adding that the position will be filled by former minister of economic affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍).
Speculation about Kuan’s resignation emerged earlier yesterday following a report by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, which said that Kuan had informed Mao and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about his plans, but was asked not to make it public until a suitable replacement was found.
Kuan was absent from the Cabinet meeting earlier yesterday, further stirring speculation about his resignation.
The Apple Daily report said that Kuan wanted to leave after the Cabinet reshuffle following the KMT’s election defeat. However, Mao, who was promoted to premier in the reshuffle, urged him to stay and assist in having the council’s budget proposal passed in the legislature and to promote a project to improve the domestic environment for entrepreneurs.
The report said that Kuan had left his boxes from his last attempt to resign packed and had once said that he would leave when the legislative session ended. The session ended last week.
Kuan also met Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) recently, with the mayor agreeing to have the council’s planned “entrepreneurial park” built in the Taipei Expo Park. Thinking that he has completed his mission, Kuan decided to leave, the report said.
In his statement, Kuan said: “Now that Premier Mao’s [Cabinet] has stabilized and the NDC’s budget proposal has passed, my mission at this stage has now been completed.”
The report said that Kuan was especially frustrated at the legislative impasse over the review of the draft bill governing the establishment of free economic pilot zones due to a boycott by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers.
In his statement, Kuan talked about the free economic pilot zones as one of the policies that he and the council worked hard to promote, but he did not cite its failure to pass legislative review as a reason for his resignation.
“It was not simply a job to me, but also a chance for me to pay a debt of gratitude to Taiwan,” he said. “The great transformation of the Internet era has allowed me to see my limitations and let me know that it is time for me to leave the government... but I will continue to exert my strength and efforts for Taiwan in academia or in other areas in the future.”
Just two days prior to the report about Kuan’s resignation, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩), the lawmaker who received the highest number of votes in the country in the last legislative election, announced her withdrawal from the KMT.
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