TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - As rumors of cabinet reshuffle continue to swirl, Taiwanese media reported it will take place on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the soonest, with the former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) likely to succeed William Lai (賴清德) to lead the Executive Yuan.
The defeated Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) is said to be named as Su's new deputy.
Following the poor results of last year's local elections for the ruling DPP, the government approved the resignations of the transportation, agriculture and environment ministers. Premier William Lai late last year identified the hurried introduction of reforms involving labor policies and air pollution, as well as the slow reaction to the viral spread of misinformation as some of the factors which caused the DPP defeats. Lai also hinted that he might take responsibility for the outcome "at the appropriate time," allegedly a reference to an eventual resignation.
Liberty Times reported on Monday that the "appropriate time" would be Jan. 10, a day after the Legislature is set to pass the central government's 2019 budget.
Once the budget is passed, Lai is expected to announce a reshuffle of the Cabinet the following day, and Su is reportedly the favored candidate to take over.
Chen Chi-mai is expected to be appointed by Su as Vice Premier in the new team, the report said.
In 2006, Su was appointed as Taiwan's Premier by the then-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and he resigned from the job in 2007 for the Presidential Election 2008 on behalf of the DPP as Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) running mate. A senior DPP official told Liberty Times that Su could be a good aid to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as he is experienced and can compliment Tsai's weaknesses, and could eventually help Tsai win re-election in 2020.