Mao Chi-kuo named as premier (update) - Focus Taiwan

Mao Chi-kuo named as premier (update)

Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Mao Chi-kuo was named premier Wednesday, according to an announcement from the Presidential Office.

He will replace outgoing Premier Jiang Yi-huah as the head of the Cabinet.

Ma Wei-kuo, a spokeswoman for the Presidential Office, said Mao, who has served as the vice premier in Jiang's Cabinet for a year and 10 months, is familiar with the administration's policies and skilled at communicating with and coordinating among different agencies.

As a Ph.D. from MIT, Mao has also served in various jobs at the Ministry of Transportation and Communications and is familiar with Taiwan's industries, said the spokeswoman.

She expressed confidence that under his leadership, the new Cabinet will be able to resume work in the shortest possible time.

Jiang's Cabinet resigned en masse after he stepped down Nov. 29 to take responsibility for the defeat of the ruling Kuomintang in local elections.

After the announcement, Mao accepted the appointment, saying in a statement that he will do his utmost to justify the confidence placed in him.

Now that the elections are over, he said, the government has to resume work and provide services to the general public. With this in mind, Mao said, he decided to accept the assignment by President Ma Ying-jeou to serve as premier.

He said President Ma has given him full rein to choose his Cabinet members, most of whom have built trust and consensus among themselves through their many years of working together in the government.

Mao also said the top issue on the agenda of his administration will be seeking the Legislative Yuan's approval of the 2015 government budget, which is vital for the central and local governments to implement their policies and to cooperate with each other on national development.

Mao said he will not try to dodge or turn a blind eye to the challenges and obstacles ahead but instead, will work with his Cabinet members to deal with those issues.

(By Kelven Huang , Hsieh Chia-chen and Maubo Chang)ENDITEM/WH/pc

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