New premier sworn in, promises a ‘pragmatic’ Cabinet
TAIPEI: Taiwan’s new premier William Lai and his cabinet were officially sworn in yesterday, ushering in a new political era that he vows will be “down-to-earth and pragmatic”.
Speaking at the handover ceremony at the Executive Yuan in the capital, Taipei, Mr Lai said his primary task is to develop the national economy and improve people’s wellbeing rather than to build political momentum ahead of the next election.
The 57-year-old premier was referring to speculation that his appointment is a ploy to lift the sagging fortunes of President Tsai Ing-wen’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ahead of next year’s nationwide local elections, or even to build his own political capital for a much-speculated run at the presidency.
Neither is his mission to further the interests of a particular party faction, the former Tainan mayor said, hitting back at media conjecture that he is working solely to advance the DPP’s New Tide faction, of which Ms Tsai is a leader.
“The new cabinet is neither ‘combative’ nor ‘election-oriented’ as some media have called it,” he said. “Instead, it is down-toearth and pragmatic.”
Mr Lai urged his new cabinet members to roll up their sleeves and get to work immediately because they do not have the luxury of a “honeymoon period,” let alone a “trial period.”
“We must make great strides in deepening Taiwan’s reform and transformation based on the foundation established by Premier Lin Chuan,” Lai said, referring to his predecessor who submitted his resignation over the weekend.