President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) encouraged Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and the new Cabinet to work with passion in the interests of the nation, after the new administrative team officially took office yesterday.
The premier and his team should remember the creed of Ashok Mehta, president of the Lions Clubs International, of "passion to excel" as they take up their posts, Chen remarked during a meeting with Mehta at the Presidential Office.
Earlier yesterday, Chen presided over the swearing-in ceremony of Su and other Cabinet officials. Su, who was serving as Democratic Progressive Party until last December's local government elections, was sworn in as premier yesterday, one week after President Chen announced his appointment.
Receiving Mehta one hour after the swearing-in ceremony, Chen said that the swearing in of Su and other government officials was symbolic. "It is like the logo of the Lions Club with one lion gazing at past glory and the other looking ahead steadily," he said.
Chen likened the posture of the two lions to the "passing on" and "taking over" stages and responsibilities of the Cabinet.
The new era has new requirements and new missions, the president said, adding that this was why a new Cabinet team was being installed.
As he accepted the official seal of office from his predecessor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Su said, "I am determined to work with my team to face the challenges ahead. We especially hope to build on the fine base left by Premier Hsieh and his predecessors to accomplish the goals stated by the president."
He also expressed the hope that the new Cabinet would be a "can-do" team, following the right path and working conscientiously to live up to the people's and the president's expectations.
In handing over the premiership to Su, Hsieh said that he would return to non-governmental circles.
"As the winds blow, I have embarked on a wandering life," Hsieh commented. The former premier claimed that he was obliged to resign to take responsibility for failing to secure President Chen's endorsement of his proposal to veto the Legislature's cuts to the central government and other agencies' budgets.
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the new premier's relatives, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) and Judicial Yuan President Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生). Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) was absent because he is still on a trip to Honduras where he is acting as Chen's envoy at the inauguration of Honduran President-elect Manuel Zelaya.
The head of the Control Yuan was also not represented at the ceremony, since the Legislature has refused to approve a list of Control Yuan members nominated by President Chen almost one year ago.
Apart from Su and the other Cabinet members, Mark Chen (陳唐山), newly appointed Secretary General to the president, also took up his post yesterday.
Vice President Lu presided over Mark Chen's swearing-in ceremony, praising the new top presidential aide's capability and unceasing efforts to promote democracy.