President Chen Shui-bian will decide whether to change the Democratic Progressive Party Cabinet after carrying out a“comprehensive and thorough review”of the political situation in the wake of the party's defeat in the city and county magistrate elections Saturday, according to Executive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai.
In an unscheduled news conference last night, Cho said that Premier Frank Hsieh had verbally submitted his resignation to the president Saturday evening, but that Chen said that the first priority after elections was political stability.
Cho said that the DPP government team “accepted this result with an empty heart and will sincerely solicit and accept all views from society and engage in deep self-examination.”
But he said that Chen told Hsieh that “the government team can lose an election campaign, but we cannot lose Taiwan's future stability and development or the governing party.”
Cho said Hsieh met with Chen at the presidential residence Saturday night at about 7:00 p.m. to give him the initial results of the elections and to offer his verbal resignation.
However, Chou said that Chen told Hsieh that the first priorities in the wake of the polls were to maintain political stability and carry out internal re-examination, so it was not the time for a discussion about the future.”
Specifically, Cho said Chen asked Hsieh to continue the preparations for a second“economic development advisory conference”and added that “opposition politicians” and opinion leaders should be included in the preparatory discussions.
“After the president finalizes his plan and determines the direction, the Executive Yuan will engage in many reforms and adjust its directions so that the people will clearly feel the new directions respond to the desires of the people for change,” Cho said.
Cho said that Chen decide whether Hsieh and the Cabinet will resign or whether there will be a partial reorganization within the next few days.
Cho stressed that any change in personnel “will allow the people to feel a new atmosphere.”