Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday appointed the ruling pro-independence party’s former chairman as the country’s premier, following mass cabinet resignations in the wake of November’s local elections.
The Democratic Progressive Party’s Su Tseng-chang, a former premier, will replace Lai Ching-te. Outgoing premier Lai earlier on Friday led cabinet members in resigning to shoulder responsibility for last year’s electoral losses by the ruling party.
“At this very moment, Taiwan needs a premier, who is experienced, courageous, and with executive power, to continue unfinished reforms and future national development,” Tsai told reporters in her office.
From January 2006 to May 2007, Su and Tsai were premier and vice premier, respectively. On Friday, Tsai expressed her appreciation for Su’s willingness to lead alongside her again.
She added that her team’s priority is to carry out policies which will make people feel more secure.
Taiwan will this year face challenges associated with the US-China trade war and with Beijing’s renewed threat to compulsorily apply its “One Country, Two Systems” approach to Taiwan, Tsai said.
The DPP won just six out of 22 local authorities during the November 24 election, while the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) took 15 cities and counties. Tsai resigned as DPP chair the same day.