Mon, Jan 24, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Yu to lead Cabinet's resignation today

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Premier Yu Shyi-kun is scheduled to lead the entire Executive Yuan to resign en masse today, making him the longest serving premier since the peaceful transfer of power.

While President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has not yet appointed a new premier, sources from the Premier's Office revealed yesterday that Yu will not be re-appointed as premier despite his impressive performance.

Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), mayor of Kaohsiung, is tipped to replace Yu as premier, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Hsieh was all smiles while touring a market in Kaohsiung as his supporters shouted "Go! Go! Premier!" But he remained tight-lipped about the Cabinet reshuffle.

Yu was secretary-general of the Presidential Office before moving into his current position in February 2002. His predecessor, Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), held on to his position for 470 days, while Chang's predecessor Tang Fei (唐飛) was the shortest-serving premier in Taiwan's history, spending only 137 days in office.

When Yu took the office in February 2002, the economic growth rate was 3.33 percent and the jobless rate was 5.17 percent. The economic growth rate for last year was estimated at 5.93 percent and unemployment was recorded at 4.44 percent, according to government statistics.

A high-level Cabinet official, who asked not to be named, told the Taipei Times that he expects the Cabinet reshuffle to be a marginal one and a larger one may follow in March or April.

"While many Cabinet officials will run for local chief positions, they may be re-appointed to the same positions, and then announce they'll run for local elections in March or April," he said.

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