Su Tseng-chang has resigned after three years as prime minister of Taiwan. In the aftermath, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced that she would begin preparations for a cabinet reshuffle on Friday.
Su Tseng-chang, 75, has been prime minister since January 2019. In the past, he also held this position in 2006 and 2007. Su was also twice the chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in 2005 and in 2012-2014.
Su Tseng-chang was to hand in his verbal resignation to President Tsai in November, after the ruling DPP party lost the local elections. However, the president persuaded him to remain in office to ensure that the government’s work continued smoothly.
As he himself explained today after resigning, Su decided to remain as prime minister until the Legislative Yuan approves the general plan of the central budget for fiscal year 2023, proposed by the government. The $88 billion budget plan was approved by parliament earlier on Thursday.
The president of Taiwan thanks the prime minister
“I am very grateful to Prime Minister Su, who more than four years ago was willing to shoulder a heavy burden in difficult times. For the last four years, he has always been on the front line and helped me endure a lot of pressure,” reads a very personal Facebook post, in which President Tsai thanks Su for his years of service.
“I know best the burden that Prime Minister Su carried on his shoulders, but to bear such a burden, one cannot rely on elegant posture, but on firm determination,” Tsai said. “After the election at the end of last year, President Su offered me his resignation several times, and I was hoping he would stay and we would continue to work hard together,” she admitted.
“Today, after the budget was passed, President Su personally resigned again and told me that he hoped that as president I would have ample room to form a new government and further develop Taiwan” – she emphasized.
Work on the appointment of a new cabinet
Tsai added that the members of the government will remain in their posts for the period of the Lunar New Year, the annual holidays and thus the most important holidays in Taiwan, which this year fall in January, start on Friday and last for the next 10 days.
The president announced that she would start work on appointing a new cabinet during the holidays, so that the new composition would be known as soon as possible, just after the end of the holiday period.
Under Taiwanese law, the prime minister is appointed by the president, and other cabinet officials, including the deputy prime minister and the heads of various ministries, are appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.
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