Sun, May 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Premier's resignation surprises both political camps

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) unexpected resignation yesterday surprised both the pan-green and pan-blue camps.

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she was unaware of Su's intentions until he announced earlier in the day that he had tendered resignation to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and that Chen had accepted it.

She also said that she did not know why Su submitted his resignation to the president.


Su might have believed that he had to step down to shoulder responsibility for failing to get the budget for the Executive Yuan's operations last year passed at the Legislative Yuan, Lu said, adding that she believed that Su's resignation from the premiership won't shake the DPP's solidarity or harm the party's presidential bid next year.

Stay on

Expressing his surprise at Su's resignation and the president's approval of it, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Wang Tuoh (王拓) said he would have preferred for Su to stay on as the premier until the end of Chen's term.

Another DPP caucus whip, Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), told a press conference that the caucus hoped that Su would stay on as premier, but since he had discussed his resignation with Chen, the caucus respected Su's decision.

The caucus also recognized Su's wisdom in giving room for Chen to maneuver "from above" in next year's presidential election, Ker said.

DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬), who is affiliated with Su's camp, told the media that Su's resignation should be viewed positively because it showed he would not cling to power.

Low key

DPP legislators who are affiliated with former premier Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) camp remained low key about Su's resignation yesterday.

DPP Lawmaker Tsao Lai-wang (曹來旺) told reporters that it was a pity for Su to quit because Su had achieved a great deal during his terms as Taipei County commissioner and as premier.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he believed that repeated changes in the premiership do not favor the nation's development.

Six premiers

"[When the new premier takes the position] there will have been six premiers in seven years. This is not only harmful to our political stability, but also harms policy continuity," he said.

Ma made the comments during his cycling campaign trip in Pingtung yesterday.

Ma added that he did not know why Su wanted to step down.

Meanwhile, other KMT officials criticized the DPP administration for frequently changing its leaders.

"[The frequent change of premiers] shows that making political arrangements and distributing power, instead of governing the country, are the biggest priorities for the DPP government," KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said in a press release.

People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that Su's resignation showed that "President Chen obviously regards the premiership as a reward for politicians" because of the frequent changes in the position in the last seven years.

Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin and CNA

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