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Kolas Yotaka to stay on as Cabinet spokeswoman

2019/01/13 18:22:27

Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka (left) and Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka will remain in her position at the Executive Yuan after new Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) asked her to stay, she announced Sunday.

In an interview that day, Kolas said she had a meeting with Su Saturday at which he asked her to stay.

Kolas Yotaka is a member of the indigenous Amis tribe and was a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator-at-large before being appointed spokesperson by former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) in mid-July.

Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka / CNA file photo

Lai and his Cabinet resigned Friday in preparation for a reshuffle, in which he was replaced by Su.

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) will also stay on in her role, according to a senior political source.

Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) / CNA file photo

Meanwhile, another senior political source said Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) will also be staying in her position. Cheng who was originally planning to step down decided to remain after telephone conversations with Su on Sunday.

Other senior political sources Saturday said Su will officially name Acting Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) to head the agency.

In addition, Su is expected to promote incumbent Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) to EPA minister, the sources said.

Su is also expected to announce that Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) and Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) will remain in their current posts in the new Cabinet.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) and Veterans Affairs Council Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) will also stay on.

Chu Tzer-ming (朱澤民), head of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Jay N. Shih (施能傑), head of the Personnel Administration, Hakka Affairs Council chief Lee Yung-te (李永得) and Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod (夷將·拔路兒) will also keep their positions, the sources said.

Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) will be named minister without portfolio, while eight incumbent ministers without portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), Wu Tze-cheng (吳澤成), Wu Tsung-tsong (吳政忠), Chang Ching-sen (張景森), Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), John Deng (鄧振中), Lin Wan-i (林萬億) and Lo Ping-chen (羅秉成) will stay in the new Cabinet. Chen Mei-ling is also the head of the National Development Council.

On Friday, the sources said Su will keep the economics and finance team from the previous Cabinet.

Finance Minister Su Jain-rong (蘇建榮), Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), National Development Council chief Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) and Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) have all indicated a desire to continue in their positions, the source said.

The new Cabinet secretary-general is expected to be former Acting Tainan Mayor Li Meng-yen (李孟諺).

In another change, former Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) wrote on Facebook Friday that he has accepted the position of of transportation and communications minister.

Meanwhile, sources said Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), the Democratic Progressive Party candidate who ran and lost the mayoral race in Kaohsiung last year, is expected to be the new vice premier.

Lai and his Cabinet resigned en masse a day after the Legislative Yuan approved the central government's fiscal budget for 2019.

The outgoing premier tendered his resignation soon after the DPP suffered a crushing defeat in the nine-in-one local government elections on Nov. 24, but Tsai, who stepped down as DPP chairperson on the same day, refused to accept it.

Tsai said she expects the new premier, who has much experience serving in government, to implement policies that share the economic benefits of growth with the Taiwanese people.

Su, 71, served as chairman of the DPP from 2012-2014, premier 2006-2007, and chief of staff to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 2004.

He was defeated by KMT candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜), in the New Taipei mayoral race in November.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Ku Chuan, Elizabeth Hsu, Frances Huang and William