More cabinet reshuffling expected after President Tsai’s swearing-in

Two top aides are reportedly stepping down, plans not to be made clear until Tsai’s inauguration

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)(right)

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)(right) (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Any additional cabinet reshuffle plans for the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration as she embarks on a second term will hinge on whether her two top aides stay or not, reports said on Monday (Jan. 20).

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has accepted the offer by President Tsai to remain at the wheel of the Executive Yuan, after the cabinet resigned en masse on Jan. 13 as is constitutional tradition.

Nevertheless, rumors are rife about imminent changes in the positions of secretary-general of the National Security Council and secretary-general of the Presidential Office, currently held by David Lee (李大維) and Chen Chu (陳菊), respectively, wrote UDN. The two figures are reportedly retiring from their posts.

According to sources in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), if both of these two confidants leave, more personnel rearrangements can be expected. Chen is reportedly to step down over health reasons and will be replaced by President of the Legislative Yuan Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全).

Chen had largely shunned public appearances during Tsai’s re-election campaign. People across the political spectrum had demanded her resignation over her alleged role in the cigarette-smuggling scandal which broke out in July last year, ensnared top officials of the Tsai administration, and saw the head of the National Security Bureau removed.

Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who failed in her bid to win a fresh mandate from voters, is also reportedly a favorite candidate for the position as Taiwan’s de facto diplomat to the U.S, reported UDN. Hsiao has been a prominent figure in DPP foreign policy circles.