Wed, Feb 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Speculation of Tsai’s pick for premier grows

Staff writer, with CNA

Speculation intensified after former minister of finance Lin Chuan (林全), long rumored to be president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) choice for premier in her incoming administration, was included in Tsai’s transition team on Monday.

Lin, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and former DPP secretary-general Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) were appointed by Tsai to serve as coconveners of her transition team that is to handle the transfer of power from the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Of the three, Wu’s counterpart is to be Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), and Wu called Tseng to arrange a time line for the transition from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to a DPP government.

Wu, whose expertise includes relations with the US and China, has been rumored to be earmarked to be the next head of the National Security Council.

He could also be named Presidential Office secretary-general or minister of foreign affairs, pundits said.

Due to his experience with government finances, Lin is seen by many as a likely choice for the premiership, although rumors indicate he is “not very interested” in the top executive job.

DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who was part of one transition team, said all three coconveners have extensive experience in government service and know how each government department works well, “so they should be able to make the transition very smooth.”

Still, the DPP has called for new legislation to “institutionalize” the transfer of power after a general election, Chen said.

Chen added that there was no “absolute” relationship between the transition team and future personnel appointments, which he said are up to the president.

Other DPP insiders pointed to precedents to counter Chen’s “no relationship” comment, including the 2000 transition team of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

One coconvener of Chen Shui-bian’s transition team, Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), was later appointed premier, one insider said, adding that “key members in the transition team usually take important jobs in the new administration.”

“It will not be that once you have participated in taking over the government, you leave. This is not the case,” the source said.

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