Premier Lin Chuan (林全) resigned yesterday and the Cabinet is to follow suit en masse tomorrow, amid rumors that Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) could be tapped to succeed Lin.
Lin told a news conference at the Executive Yuan that he decided to resign because he had completed the three goals in his agenda since he became premier last year: to steer the administration through the transitional period; implement President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policies and to lay a foundation for the nation’s development by coordinating Cabinet policies.
Lin said he had proposed resigning in June because he believed that he was not the appropriate candidate to lead the administration through next year’s mayoral and councilor elections, and felt that a new premier with a sharper political consciousness should take over as early as possible.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
However, Tsai asked him to delay his resignation until the tasks requiring his expertise were completed, including the long-awaited tax reform package and the budget review of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, Lin said.
That review was completed on Thursday and the tax reform proposal was announced on Friday, he said.
“Over the past 15 months, I have completed the ‘five plus two’ innovative industries development plan, the long-term care service 2.0 package, the social housing planning and implementation framework, as well as amending the Electricity Act (電業法) to pave the way for the transition to ‘green’ energy, raising funds for long-term care services and proposing a tax reform package,” Lin wrote in his resignation letter.
“The Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program’s initial budget passed on Thursday. While deeply appreciating the opportunity to serve the nation afforded by the president, I have completed the short-term goals and planned to resign as the premier to smooth the president’s appointments plan,” he wrote.
Reports of a major Cabinet reshuffle have been circulating for months, with some in the pan-green camp demanding that Lin should resign as the administration’s approval rating dropped.
“As a politician I accept all criticism,” Lin said. “I am very happy to be relieved of the burden and I am glad and thankful that someone is willing to succeed me.”
Lin said he and Tsai had reached a mutual understanding on who should be the next premier, but he refused to say who it was.
Lin is to officially leave office on Thursday.
It has been widely speculated that Lai would take over as premier on Friday, but Lai, who has repeatedly denied the rumors, declined to say if he had been picked to succeed Lin.
Lin’s Cabinet has been criticized for being dominated by older, pan-blue and male politicians, and its labor policy and infrastructure development program were strongly opposed during the legislative review.
In response to rumors that those holding financial or economic portfolios would be reappointed, Lin said that the next premier would announce the next Cabinet.
His resignation is widely seen as an attempt to salvage the Tsai government’s popularity.
“I qualify for a senior citizen card, so I can lead a carefree life. I do not plan to take any jobs. I want to stress that I will not accept any government positions,” Lin said.
There has been speculation that he might become the next central bank president.
Presidential Office Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said that Tsai would announce Lin’s replacement at a news conference today.
Lin submitted his resignation to Tsai after she held a national security meeting on Sunday in response to the North Korean nuclear test, saying that he had completed the government’s short-term objectives, Wu said.
Tsai accepted his resignation after a serious conversation with Lin, Wu said.
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
ENFORCING CAUTION: Certain entertainment facilities are to close nationwide to prevent people traveling there from high-risk areas in the north, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert for Taipei and New Taipei City to level 3 in light of surging cases in the two cities. The enhanced disease prevention measures for level 3 are to be implemented until May 28, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a morning news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei. With 180 locally transmitted cases confirmed yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the government must take immediate action to protect the public, referring to measures stipulated in the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). Other counties
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
RISING TRANSMISSION: The center yesterday reported 333 domestic cases, including 241 cases linked to a cluster of infections from Taipei’s Wanhua District From 12am tomorrow to June 18, foreign nationals who do not hold a valid Alien Resident Certificate or resident visa will not be allowed to enter Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday, as it reported 333 local and two imported cases of COVID-19. Transits through Taiwan will also be suspended during the month-long period, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “The policy is aimed at conserving the nation’s disease prevention capacity,” he said. Although there had been few imported COVID-19 cases in the past few days, inbound travelers would still take up some