Taiwan Premier won't dismiss possibility of resignation over oil scandal

Taiwan Premier won't dismiss possibility of resignation over oil scandal
Taiwan's Premier Jiang Yi-huah (centre) is escorted by security staff.

TAIPEI, Taiwan- Premier Jiang Yi-huah yesterday appeared on the national political TV show "Situation Room" to answer questions regarding his responsibility in the current food scandals, as well as news of his reported potential resignation.

On the programme, which is hosted by former politician Chao Shao-kang, Jiang stated that he is not obsessed with power and that he is ready to take full responsibility for his part in a major national problem, even if that means his resignation.

Jiang's statements were in response to the widely circulated rumour that Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin may be approached to replace the incumbent premier.

News of Hau being eyed to take over the position of premier began to surface following Kuomintang (KMT) Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien's campaign manager and KMT Legislator Alex Tsai publicly criticising Jiang and imploring the incumbent premier to step down.

Tsai also reportedly stated that Jiang needs to be replaced for failing in his responsibilities, and that the most suitable candidate for the position is none other than Hau, who has a solid background in the issues of food sanitation, hygiene and safety.

Lien was also noted to have criticised the central government's actions during the recent food scandals. The mayoral candidate stated previously that if he were Jiang, he would have stepped down already for his inability to resolve the situation in a timely manner.

Jiang Addresses Efforts to Combat Food Contamination

During the programme, Jiang stated that he held nine conferences to address and handle the issue of food contamination in late September.

Jiang stated that he wishes to resolve the situation as soon as possible under his leadership and eradicate food contamination in its entirety, including contamination of rice, wheat, sugar and salt.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare is in the process of designing a response system to deal with the situation, the premier said, which is estimated to be completed between October and December.

In conclusion, Jiang stated that he does not care whether he can retain his current post as premier; rather, he is most concerned about preventing food contamination from affecting the entire public in the future.

During a public appearance yesterday, Hau was asked by local media to respond to Lien's statements, which hinted that Jiang should step down from his post.

In response, Hau said that he believes Lien had been misquoted, and that it is his duty as a mayoral candidate to act as the voice of the general public.

Hau also responded to reports of him taking over as premier, stating that the rumours were untrue.

The most important issue at hand, Hau said, is a concerted effort between local and central governments to relieve the general public of the anxiety of the recent food scandals, as well as establishing strong policies to regulate all food companies to prevent pollution in the future.

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