Taiwan Premier says Cabinet will resign on Friday

Announcement follows passage of 2019 central government budget by Legislative Yuan

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - As long predicted, Premier William Lai (賴清德) announced he and his Cabinet would officially resign on Friday, following Thursday’s passage of the central government budget for 2019 by the Legislative Yuan.

Following the poor performance of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the November 24 local elections, predictions did the rounds that Lai and at least part of his team would be replaced to shoulder responsibility for the defeat.

While reports repeatedly dispelled by government leaders hinted that former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) might receive his old job back, Lai still announced Thursday that the whole Cabinet would resign at an extra meeting on Friday, January 11.

Around 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Lai visited the Legislative Yuan to express his thanks for the approval of the central government budget, the Central News Agency reported.

“The budget has been passed, the time has also come,” he was quoted as saying. After the Cabinet’s resignation, he would await President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) decision about his successor, he told reporters.

Lai, 59, a former DPP legislator and mayor of Tainan, was sworn in as premier on September 8, 2017 to succeed Lin Chuan (林全), who had been premier since Tsai’s inauguration on May 20, 2016.