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“The best Taiwan premier since 2000” leads Cabinet resignation

Tainan Mayor William Lai to take over on Friday

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Premier Lin Chuan (left, in white shirt) bid his Cabinet farewell Thursday.

Premier Lin Chuan (left, in white shirt) bid his Cabinet farewell Thursday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Lin Chuan (林全) chaired his final weekly Cabinet meeting Thursday, earning praise as “the best premier since 2000.”

On Friday, Lin will be replaced by outgoing Tainan City Mayor William Lai (賴清德) at the head of a Cabinet team that will remain largely the same.

Influential financial affairs commentator Hsieh Chin-ho (謝金河) described Lin, who took office in May last year, as the best premier since the first handover of power from the Kuomintang to the Democratic Progressive Party in 2000. He contrasted the latest premier’s departure with some of his predecessors, who were forced to resign or left amid disagreements with the president.

During his 475 days in office, Lin laid the foundation for many reforms related to topics like the workweek, the pension system, the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and the tax system, Hsieh said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP also praised Lin as the official who began an intensive program of reform which will now have to be continued and intensified by his successor. Lai has run Tainan for almost seven years with high approval ratings.

At the farewell party following his final Cabinet meeting, Lin emphasized how he only made promises that he could keep. He reportedly only regretted the fact that some of his team’s proposals were still stuck at the Legislative Yuan.

While he joked that his first action upon leaving government would be acquiring a senior citizen card, there have been media reports that Lin, a technocrat with a background in finance, could be considered as the next governor of the Central Bank.