President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday defended his appointment of Vice Premier Sean Chen (陳冲)as premier and said that the new Cabinet would guide the nation through the European debt crisis and boost the economy amid various challenges ahead.
Ma announced the latest appointments during a press release, confirming days of speculation about the appointment of Chen, a former Financial Supervisory Commission chairman, to help the administration address economic issues during the president’s second term.
Ma praised Chen for his experience in working closely with Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to promote policies during his term as vice premier and cited his achievements in reviving the nation’s economy, including the signing of a memorandum of understanding on financial supervisory cooperation with China in 2009, which widened access to banks on each side of the Taiwan Strait.
“With Mr Chen’s expertise and experience, I believe he will continue to bring his capabilities to full play in the future and properly handle a possible recess in economy amid European debt crisis,” Ma said.
Chen announced the new Cabinet lineup yesterday afternoon after Wu, the vice president-elect, led his Cabinet in an en masse resignation in the morning.
The president also announced the appointment of Deputy Legislative Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) as the new Presidential Office secretary-general.
Tseng, who played a key role in organizing and mobilizing grassroot supporters during Ma’s re-election campaign, will replace Wu Jin-lin (伍錦霖), who took over as the Presidential Office secretary-general last year.
Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said the president expected Tseng to incorporate his years of experience in handling legislative matters and local affairs in his new post and help the administration have a better understanding of public opinion.
A reshuffle in the Presidential Office and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will see the deputy executive director of Ma’s re-election camp, Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), become the deputy secretary-general in the Presidential Office, while campaign spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) will serve as deputy spokesperson at the Presidential Office.
KMT Secretary-General Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) is stepping down from his position and will be replaced by Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Join-sane (林中森).
Ma dismissed speculation about Liao’s resignation amid his alleged grudge against Ma’s top aide, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), during the election campaign and praised Liao for his full dedication in handling party affairs.
Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓), who lost in a legislative district contest in Greater Tainan, will take over as head of the KMT’s Organization and Development Committee, which is responsible for election mobilization. Ma’s re-election campaign spokespersons Yin Wei (殷瑋) and Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) will become KMT spokespersons.
Ma will formally announce the new Presidential Office and KMT personnel arrangements on Monday.