Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin appointed as Taiwan's vice premier

Shen Jong-chin (left) and Wang Mei-hua (right). 

Shen Jong-chin (left) and Wang Mei-hua (right).  (CNA photo)

Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) was appointed Friday (June 19) to the post of vice premier, following the resignation of the incumbent to run in a local government election, according to Cabinet spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘).

Shen's deputy, Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花), will now head the ministry, Ting said at a press event.

The new appointments were made after Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) submitted his resignation as vice premier, saying he was planning to run as the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's candidate in the mayoral by-election in Kaohsiung on Aug. 15.

Chen's resignation was accepted by Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) Wednesday and took effect Friday.

The Kaohsiung by-election is being held in the wake of a recall vote against Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who was elected mayor in late 2018 and six months later decided to enter the race for the 2020 presidential election, in what his constituents said was a breach of his mayoral campaign promises.

On June 6, Han became the first mayor in Taiwan to be recalled, as 97 percent of the 964,141 Kaohsiung citizens who cast ballots that day voted to remove him.