Taiwan's premier-to-be Mao Chi-kuo keeps majority of Cabinet members

Taiwan Premier Jiang Yi-huah bows during a news conference after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party was defeated in the local elections in Taipei.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Cabinet yesterday released its final list of new ranking officials, showing that Premier-to-be Mao Chi-kuo has opted to keep the majority of previous Cabinet members.

The decision for minor personnel reshuffling was aimed at keeping the Cabinet running smoothly and without gaps, Mao said earlier, yet many pointed out that former Premier Jiang Yi-huah had a different approach when he recently announced his resignation.

Jiang had said in response to the people's discontent with the government that he will be stepping down and the Cabinet will be facing an "overall reshuffle."

After Mao's appointment by the president, it was announced yesterday that the position of vice premier will be filled by Science and Technology Minister Chang San-cheng, as opposed to previous rumours of Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairwoman Huang Min-hui.

According to the Cabinet, Chang is a technical whiz whose origins are plain and without political background.

Previously, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Yeh Shin-cheng was appointed minister without portfolio, so as to further promote policies on environmental protection.

The next new name on the list is Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Deputy Minister Wang Chong-yi, who will be replacing former CGA head Wang Jinn-wang. It was also confirmed yesterday that John Deng (鄧振中) will be taking the place of Duh Tyzz-jiun as economics minister. Duh has been named minister without portfolio.

The new team of ranking officials is expected to possess the pragmatic attitudes of engineers and the preciseness and efficiency of administrators, said the Executive Yuan, adding that the officials are to promote future policies with respect and humility.

On the list of some 80 officials, Secretary-General Lee Shih-chuan, Deputy Secretary-General Hsiao Chia-chi, Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun, Foreign Minister David Lin, Interior Minister Chen Wei-jen, Defence Minister Yen Ming, Transportation Minister Yeh Kuang-shih, Education Minister Wu Se-hwa, Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay, Health and Welfare Minister Chiang Been-huang, and Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi are among those who are to keep their original positions in the Cabinet.

A vacancy is left by former Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai, who expressed a lack of interest in retaining her seat.

The position will be filled shortly, said the Cabinet.

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