TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan put most of its cabinet ministers back to work in a minimal government reshuffle on Friday following a weekend election that trounced the ruling party, prompting the premier to quit and President Ma Ying-jeou to step down as party chief.
The Executive Yuan on Friday announced the new line up of ministers under Premier Mao Chi-kuo, who was named on Wednesday to replace Jiang Yi-huah. Mao was previously Taiwan’s vice premier. The ministers for Taiwan’s key posts that deal with finance, defence and China policy were unchanged.
Taiwan appointed John C.C. Deng as the new economics minister. He was formerly a minister without portfolio under the Executive Yuan. Woody Duh, formerly the economics minister, is now a minister without portfolio.
Former premier Jiang resigned on Saturday after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), struggling to convince voters of the benefits of the deeper ties with China, lost key posts in local elections island wide. For the KMT, or Nationalist party, it was the worst electoral setback since 2000, when it lost power for the first time to the Democratic Progressive Party, which favours formal independence for the island Beijing considers a renegade province.