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Posted at: Jan 11, 2019, 7:54 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2019, 7:54 AM (IST)

Taiwan premier, cabinet to quit after defeat in local elections

Taiwan premier, cabinet to quit after defeat in local elections
William Lai

TAIPEI, January 10

Taiwan premier William Lai said on Thursday he was resigning along with the self-ruled island’s entire cabinet, nearly two months after the defeat of his ruling pro-independence party in local poll.

The election losses present a major challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen who has come under mounting domestic criticism over her reform agenda while facing renewed threats from China, which considers the island its own.

Lai’s departure was widely expected. It is standard practice in Taiwan for leaders to go when their party loses a major election. The DPP suffered a significant defeat in November to the China-friendly opposition Kuomintang.

It is also customary for the cabinet to step down when the premier resigns.

“The time is up. I will call a special cabinet meeting tomorrow and resign along with the entire cabinet,” Lai said, adding that Tsai had approved his resignation.

Tsai, who is also from the DPP, was expected to announce a new premier and ministerial appointments would follow. Taiwan’s elected president appoints the premier, who forms the cabinet and runs the government on a day-to-day basis. — Reuters

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