Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has never tendered his resignation since becoming premier in February, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday, adding that there were no plans for a Cabinet reshuffle.
News about Jiang resigning “is nothing but a rumor,” Ma said in an interview with Next TV. “He is full of energy, very good at stress management and has executed government policies with great efficiency.”
“I don’t know where this rumor came from,” the president added.
Ma’s comments came amid reports that Jiang had twice tendered his resignation since becoming premier.
According to a story published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Jiang offered to resign over the Cabinet’s poor handling of the controversial amendment to the Accounting Act (會計法) and the proposed 12-year education system.
Jiang on Tuesday also called the stories rumors and denied offering to quit.
Ma defended Jiang’s performance and said the Presidential Office has always respected the Executive Yuan’s handling of government reforms since he took the office in February.
He also dismissed reports that the rumor had been deliberately spread to hurt Jiang’s reputation amid fierce competition among candidates vying to represent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in next year’s seven-in-one local elections or even take over as his successor.
The president declined to comment on the party’s election strategy for next year’s special elections.
“The KMT has a nomination mechanism, and we will choose the final candidates through this procedure,” he said.
Jiang is said to be Ma’s preferred successor and is a likely candidate in the Taipei mayoral election next year.
However, support for former Taipei EasyCard Corp chairman Sean Lien (連勝文) to represent the KMT in the election for Taipei mayor is high.
Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) are also vying for more power in the post-Ma era.
Ma also denied having any “preferred successor,” saying it was too early to discuss the KMT’s election strategy for next year and the presidential race in 2016.