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New Cabinet to be sworn in as Legislature begins new term

2016/01/31 22:28:33

Incoming Premier Simon Chang. (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 31 (CNA) Acting Premier Simon Chang (張善政) will be sworn in as premier to lead a new Cabinet Monday, when the Legislature begins a new four-year term.

Chang, 61, was named premier Jan. 25 to replace Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), who tendered his resignation after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) lost the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections.

The KMT only secured 35 of the 113 seats in the Legislature, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won 68 seats and gained the control of the highest law-making body for the first time.

There will only be minor changes to the Cabinet, which include Duh Tyzz-jiun (杜紫軍), who will take up the vice premier post left by Chang.

Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) has been named to succeed Duh as minister of the National Development Council.

Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairwoman Jennifer Wang (王儷玲) will replace FSC Chairman Tseng Ming-chung (曾銘宗), who will become a legislator-at-large Monday.

The Council of Agriculture will be headed by its current Vice Minister Chen Chih-ching (陳志清), as Minister Chen Bao-ji (陳保基) returns to his teaching job at National Taiwan University.

During a Cabinet meeting on Jan. 25, Chang said he hopes to set an example for power transition in the next four months, before DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is sworn in as the country's new president May 20.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had expressed hope that the majority party in the Legislature can form the Cabinet when lawmakers' new term begins Feb. 1, but the DPP rejected the idea.

The DPP said in a Jan. 25 statement that Tsai respects Chang's appointment, since it is the president's constitutional power.

Since the people have elected a new Legislature, the current government should act as a caretaker to ensure normal and stable operations, the statement said.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Kay Liu)