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Make-up of DPP transition team fuels speculation about top jobs

2016/02/01 22:18:40

Lin Chuan CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 1 (CNA) Former Finance Minister Lin Chuan (林全) has long been rumored to be Taiwan's next premier in the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration; that speculation intensified after Lin was included in Tsai's transition team on Monday.

Lin, Democratic Progressive Party 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 co-conveners of her transition team that will handle the transfer of power from the incumbent Ma Ying-jeou administration.

Of the three co-conveners, Wu's counterpart will be Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), and Wu has called Tseng to arrange a schedule for transferring power from the Kuomintang government to a DPP government.

Wu, whose expertise includes relations with the United States and China, has been rumored as the next head of the National Security Council. He could also be named Presidential Office secretary-general or foreign minister, pundits say.

Because of his experience in government finance, Lin is still seen as a likely choice for the premiership, though rumors also indicate he is "not very interested" in the top executive job.

DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), who had been part of a transition team, said all three co-conveners 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, Chen said, the DPP has called for new legislation to "institutionalize" the transfer of power after a general election.

Chen also said 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 DPP precedents to counter Chen's "no-relationship" comment, including the 2000 transition team of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

A co-convener of Chen's transition team, Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), was later appointed premier, said one insider, adding that "key members in the transition team usually take important jobs in the new administration."

"It will not be that once you've participated in taking over the government, you leave. This is not the case," the source said.

(By Sofia Yeh and S.C. Chang)