Thu, Jan 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

President will name new premier today, officials say

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Presidential Office announced last night that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will appoint a new premier today.

Local press agency CNA reported last night that the post will be filled by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

CNA cited sources at the Presidential Office as saying that the president would not wait until Monday to name the new premier.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) will lead the Cabinet in resigning on Monday.

After the Cabinet resigns, the new premier will be inaugurated immediately, the sources said.

Hsieh said yesterday that the people of Taiwan have the right to be informed about important issues that concern the entire country.

The outgoing premier made the remark in an apparent response to a media report which claimed that Chen was upset about him "talking too much."

Chinese-language newspapers have reported that Chen was irritated by Hsieh talking to the media about the party's negotiations on the future of Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), newly-elected DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, former DPP chairman Su and Hsieh.

"I think it is a good thing to let everybody know how the president is arranging personnel for the government. I don't think that [Chen] would be upset about this," Hsieh said.

In remarks made on Tuesday, Hsieh implied that Su was very aggressive, that he wanted the premier's position and that he was eager to run in the 2008 presidential election as well.

Hsieh said yesterday that it was very kind of the president to spend so much time arranging personnel matters out of concern for unity and cooperation in the DPP.

It is very important that the country's people should know what is going on, Hsieh said.

"Even if the negotiations and the new arrangement do not work out, it will not be the president's fault, because at least he tried," Hsieh said.

"The president would have told me if he were really upset, since I am leaving anyway. But he did not say anything," he said.

Yu said that the president had never interviewed him regarding any "personnel affairs."

"Ever since I quit my position as the Presidential Office secretary-general to campaign for the DPP chairmanship, I have not met with the president for at least a month," Yu said.

"I am not one of the four [DPP] heavyweights. I know nothing," Yu said.

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