Thu, Jul 12, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Cabinet shuffle to include Hochen

SMOOTH PROGRESS:The DPP considers the outcome of the local elections to be very important, as it would offer an evaluation of its performance, a source said

By Lee Hsin-fang, Su Yung-yao and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A Cabinet reshuffle aimed at improving cooperation between ministers and the premier ahead of the nine-in-one local elections is to include Minister of Transportation and Communications Hochen Tan (賀陳旦).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) hopes to form a Cabinet that would work well with Premier William Lai (賴清德), an anonymous source said, adding that the new ministers would be announced next week.

The party hopes that the reshuffle, which is the largest since Lai took office 10 months ago, would allow the premier to make smooth progress on key issues such as improving the economy.

A reshuffle in February saw Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) take over from National Security Council Secretary-General David Lee (李大維), who in turn replaced Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發).

Then-minister of labor Lin Mei-chu (林美珠) left her position due to health issues and was replaced by former Kaohsiung deputy mayor Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春).

Lai at the time had no intentions of a Cabinet reshuffle, the source said.

Lai, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other officials held meetings last month, when the president expressed support for another reshuffle, the source said, adding that the DPP views the outcome of the upcoming elections as an evaluation of the government’s performance.

Lai is under a great deal of pressure due to the elections and hopes that the reshuffle would be completed as soon as possible, the source said.

Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) is expected take over the post of minister of the interior given his ability to communicate with other parties, the source said, adding that Hsu will likely seek to improve communication between the Cabinet and the legislature.

Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau Director-General Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) is likely to take over as minister of justice given his rapport with Lai, while Deputy Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮) is likely to take over as minister of finance, the source said.

Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) is likely to be reassigned deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office, the source said.

DPP Legislator Kolas Yotaka is to take over as Executive Yuan spokesperson, the source added.

Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) yesterday thanked his coworkers for their help during the past two years, and discussed the ministry’s successes and areas requiring improvement.

Yeh praised the Central Emergency Operation Center for its efforts in reducing casualties and injuries during typhoons, but said that the government must clarify its policies for work and school cancelations during storms.

Additional reporting by CNA

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