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Taiwan’s Tsai Appoints new premier after predecessor’s resignation


Taipei –  Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday appointed Lai Ching-te as premier in a bid to boost her popularity ahead of local elections slated for 2018.
Lai, also known as William Lai, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party will replace Lin Chuan, who was not affiliated with any party.
The 58-year-old mayor of Tainan City will become the first premier from the ruling party to head the cabinet, the government’s executive branch, since Tsai came to power in May 2016.
Harvard-educated Lai, who has a background in public health, has served as a lawmaker for four terms.
“I’m sure that Lai will be an outstanding premier,” Tsai said at a news conference held at the presidential office in Taipei that was attended by both outgoing Premier Lin and Lai.
Tsai said that the cabinet led by Lin had successfully mapped out policies that Lai would help execute, including ones related to tax reform and energy.
The cabinet will resign en masse in a formality on Thursday and Lai will take office on Friday, the state-run Central News Agency said.
Various controversies caused by reforms conducted by the current cabinet resulted in dwindling approval ratings for Tsai.
In August, Tsai’s popularity dropped to record low at 29.8 per cent in a survey conducted by a private foundation.(dpa/NAN)

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