Former vice chairman Chen Chien-jen might be Taiwan’s new premier, the presidential workplace stated on Wednesday, as a part of a cupboard reshuffle following heavy losses for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at native elections final yr.
Premier Su Tseng-chang submitted his resignation final week together with that of his cupboard forward of the extensively anticipated authorities reorganization.
Su’s transfer adopted the DPP’s trouncing at native polls in November, and comes as Taiwan gears up for presidential and parliamentary elections in early 2024.
President Tsai Ing-wen is predicted to maintain a information convention on Friday morning to formally make the announcement, her workplace stated in a brief assertion, however with out giving particulars of which different positions would get new ministers.
Chen, 71, is a religious Catholic who served as vice chairman throughout Tsai’s first time period in workplace, from 2016-2020, and Taiwanese media had named him because the particular person most probably to be the brand new premier.
He can have to oversee a number of difficult points, together with navigating the export-oriented island’s slowing financial system and plans to lengthen navy conscription to one yr within the face of a rising navy risk from China, although the DPP has a big majority in parliament which means its proposals do get handed.
Chen solely joined the DPP final yr however took on a excessive profile place campaigning for the occasion forward of November’s native elections.
He additionally attended former Pope Benedict’s funeral on the Vatican this month as Tsai’s envoy, the Vatican being one among solely 14 international locations which nonetheless have diplomatic ties with Chinese-claimed Taiwan.
An epidemiologist by coaching, he was Taiwan’s well being minister through the 2003 SARS outbreak, credited with bringing the illness beneath management, and performed an essential function in shaping Taiwan’s response to COVID-19.