Tue, Jun 18, 2002 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislator to become Cabinet secretary-general

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Freshman DPP Legislator-at-large Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) will take over the role of Cabinet secretary-general from Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), who is running for Taipei mayor at the end of the year, Premier Yu Shyi-kun confirmed yesterday

"Since the secretary-general is to leave the Cabinet soon, the Cabinet has decided to appoint DPP legislator-at-large and the party's veteran Central Standing Committee member, Liu Shih-fang, to be his successor," Yu told reporters before he delivered a speech on the Cabinet's six-year national development project at the Taipei Metro (遠企百貨) yesterday morning.

At 42, Liu will become the youngest-ever Cabinet secretary-general and the first woman to take the position. Lee is expected to step down from his post on June 25 when the DPP is scheduled to announce his candidacy.

Yu yesterday dismissed speculation that he appointed Liu, a member of the party's New Tide faction, to reduce factional discord within the DPP.

"Her appointment doesn't have anything to do with factional balance or inequality," Yu said.

Both President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Yu are from the party's Justice Alliance faction, and some of the factions have grumbled that they are underrepresented in important government positions.

Although Liu was not the only possible candidate at the beginning, Yu said, she remained at the top of the list.

"She eventually emerged as the final candidate because she not only is a veteran Central Standing Committee member but is also a lawmaker," Yu said.

"In addition, she has extensive administrative experience and is an outstanding woman."

Liu, who holds a masters degree in environmental engineering from Oklahoma University, once served as the director of the Bureau of Environmental Protection at the Taipei City Government when Chen was mayor.

She later took up the post of deputy commissioner of Taichung County.

Accompanied by DPP legislative whips Wang Tuoh (王拓), Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑), Liu told a press conference held at the Legislative Yuan yesterday afternoon that she will accept the new challenge and strive to do a good job.

"The new job marks a new beginning for my political career and means new responsibility," she said.

The three legislative whips all voiced their support for Liu.

"I'm happy that the Cabinet has found such an outstanding talent to join its team," Ker said.

Wang said that he expects to see Liu do a better job than Lee.

"I believe she'll outshine her predecessor if she can make good use of her feminine features, such as sensitivity, gentility and keenness," he said.

Hsu, who is the first woman DPP legislator to assume the post of the legislative secretary-general, said that she has total confidence in Liu.

"As an up-and-coming modern woman, she'll definitely make an excellent Cabinet secretary-general," she said.

Liu's legislative position will be filled by former DPP legislator Lin Chung-cheng (林忠正).

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