Thu, Mar 07, 2002 - Page 3 News List

DPP heavyweight joins calls for Tsung to resign

AP , TAIPEI

A growing chorus of lawmakers is accusing Taiwan's new minister of economic affairs of incompetence and are demanding that she resign -- just one month after she took the job.

In an unusual move yesterday, lawmaker Wang Tuoh (王拓), a leader in the DPP caucus, also said he has lost confidence in Christine Tsung (宗才怡).

"I think that it's best for her to resign," Wang told reporters.

Displeasure with Tsung began to build this week during several sessions of hostile grilling in the rowdy legislature, which has a tradition of trying to humiliate new ministers.

Tsung -- the former president of the nation's biggest airline, China Airlines -- struggled to answer detailed questions about the economy and to articulate her blueprint to pull the nation out of its first recession in decades.

The minister also annoyed lawmakers for not fluently expressing herself in Mandarin and for frequently lapsing into English.

Premier Yu Shyi-kun has asked lawmakers to give Tsung time to learn her job, and Tsung has promised she'll quickly get up to speed.

But several opposition legislators have urged her to resign.

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