Premier to lead en masse Cabinet resignation Friday ahead of reshuffle

Taipei, Premier Lai Ching-te announced Thursday that he and his entire Cabinet will resign the next day in preparation for an expected major reshuffle but indicated he will not stay on, in the wake of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) major defeat in the local government elections on Nov. 24 last year.

Lai made the announcement shortly after the Legislature passed the central government's annual fiscal budget for 2019.

"The government budget has been passed, and so the time has come (for me to leave)," he said, adding that he expects President Tsai Ing-wen to announce a Cabinet reshuffle soon.

Lai had offered to resign immediately after the Nov. 24, 2018 local government elections to take responsibility for the DPP's heavy losses, but Tsai refused to accept his resignation and he later agreed to stay on in the interest of political stability and continuity.

On Dec. 7 last year, however, Lai said he would step down "when the time is right" because it is of paramount value in a democracy to accept political responsibility.

Lai was sworn in as premier on Sept. 8, 2017, replacing Lin Chuan as head of the Cabinet. Prior to that, Lai had served as mayor of Tainan from 2010 to 2017 and as a legislator from 1999 to 2010.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel