Tue, Oct 11, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Tsai snubbed by Yu Shyi-kun and Su Tseng-chang

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) offers of a position as a senior presidential adviser were rebuffed by former presidential adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), as well as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) heavyweights Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), sources said.

While former DPP chairman Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) has accepted a post as a senior adviser to the president, Su and Yu both turned down the offer, while veteran democracy advocate Peng has “provisionally declined it,” sources said.

A member of Peng’s office confirmed that Tsai offered Peng a position as senior presidential adviser, but that he had refused the offer due to old age and because his recommendations on the direction the nation should take are routinely published by local media.

The staffer said Peng had served as former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) senior presidential adviser and that his expertise in international law had helped the government’s diplomatic efforts in the US, Japan, EU member states and other nations.

Peng believes that “the time is right” for Taiwan’s normalization as a state in the international community, and that the Tsai administration should make a “determined and forceful commitment” to join international organizations, the staffer said.

A source close to Su said he turned down the offer because he believes that in past administrations, senior presidential advisers and national policy advisers had been of “limited utility” and “little help” in governing the nation, and he recommended that Tsai do away with the positions.

Sources added that Tsai’s office late last month telephoned Yu to offer him the post, but he declined on grounds that others should have the opportunity to serve the president.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office confirmed that the recruitment of senior presidential and national policy advisers is ongoing, but added there is no established timetable and it does not comment on individual cases.

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