Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday announced a minor Cabinet reshuffle involving a total of seven ministers amid growing discontent with the government.
Leading the changes was Deputy Minister of National Defense Andrew Yang (楊念祖), who was promoted to replace Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱). Kao stepped down to take responsibility for the death of a 24-year-old army conscript on July 4.
Jiang called a press conference to announce the reshuffle, but provided no explanation as to why the changes were being made. The press conference lasted for less than five minutes.
Vice Minister of Finance William Tseng (曾銘宗) was designated to replace Chen Yuh-chang (陳裕璋) as chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission.
Overseas Chinese Affairs Council Minister Wu Ying-yih (吳英毅) will be succeeded by Minister Without Portfolio Steven Chen (陳士魁).
Steven Chen’s position, in charge of coordination of social welfare-related affairs among related government departments, will be filled by Feng Yen (馮燕), a professor at National Taiwan University’s Department of Social Work.
Chen and Feng are both known to be confidants of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Chen had assisted first lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) in running the Dwen An Social Welfare Foundation, founded by Ma in 1998, for years.
Feng was an adviser to Ma when he was mayor of Taipei from 1998 and 2004. She is also currently a national policy adviser to the president.
Commander in Chief of the Navy Tung Hsiang-lung (董翔龍) will replace Tseng Jing-ling (曾金陵) as minister of the Veterans Affairs Commission.
Public Construction Commission Minister Chen Chen-chuan (陳振川) will return to academia.
The position will be provisionally taken over by Vice Minister Yan Jeou-rong (顏久榮) until the commission is incorporated with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications into a new department.
Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川), who will also return to the academia, will be succeeded by his deputy, Lin Chiang-yi (林江義).
The new Cabinet members will take office on Thursday.
“The partial reshuffle is based on an overall review of government operations in an effort to enhance public well-being,” Jiang said at the news conference.
“It was decided upon after extensive discussion with President Ma Ying-jeou,” the premier added.
It marks the first Cabinet shakeup since Jiang took over the premiership in Februrary.
Additional reporting by CNA