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Outgoing premier details reasons for stepping down

2017/09/04 18:34:00

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) Outgoing Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said Monday he only ever intended to serve on an interim basis and that it made sense for him to do so before upcoming elections in 2018.

Lin explained his decision at a press conference, where he suggested his mission as premier had reached its conclusion. He also noted that he informed President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of his intention to step down in June.

In the run up to local elections next year, Lin said he expected many political issues to emerge and the new premier would need time to deal with them.

Lin said being a politician had never been part of his career plan, but he believed it was his duty to help President Tsai secure a stable transfer of power, implement policies and establish a firm administrative direction, while establishing a solid basis for long-term national development.

In June he told Tsai he planned to stand down by the end of the year, so "the administration can move on to the next stage of government," Lin said.

He expressed confidence his successor would take over seamlessly.

Asked what he planned to do after stepping down as premier, Lin observed he now qualifies as a senior citizen and has no plans to seek a new job.

"I will not accept full-time work in any government department in the future," Lin said.

The Cabinet will resign en masse on Thursday, he noted, adding that the takeover date has yet to be determined.

Lin officially submitted his resignation to President Tsai following a national security meeting on Sunday.

In his resignation, Lin wrote that after becoming premier on May 20 last year, he planned and executed the president's political platform, with "innovation, employment and distribution" as the main focus.

Over the past 15 months, Lin detailed his completion of plans for the "5 plus 2" industrial innovation program, the 2.0 long-term care program and social housing, and an amendment to the Electricity Act to allow greater concentration on green energy.

He has also presented plans to raise funds for long-term care services and introduced tax reform. In addition, the special budget for the first-stage of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Plan cleared the legislative floor last Thursday.

Lin wrote that he is grateful the president gave him the chance to serve the country and believes that resigning now will enable the president to make new personnel arrangements for future government business.

The Presidential Office said in a statement on Monday that Tsai accepted the resignation after a frank discussion with Lin.

Tsai thanked Lin for his hard work and said she would host a press conference the next day, at which she will announce the new premier, the statement said.

Cabinet sources said earlier in the day that Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (賴清德) will take over as premier.

(By Ku Chuan, Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu)