Former Vice President Chen To Take Over As Premier-Presidential Spox
Presidential spokesman Xavier Chang confirmed in a social media post on 25 Jan that former Vice President Chen Chien-jen has been appointed by President Tsai Ing-wen as Taiwan's new premier following the resignation of Su Tseng-chang. The post stated Chen's appointment is intended to “stabilize current political status and create a new phase,” following the departure of Su, Taiwan's longest-serving premier since democratisation in the 1990s.
- Chen will head up the cabinet and is set to be an important figure ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The governing Taiwanese nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered poor results in local elections in late 2022, with a new premier brought in to try and bolster the party's standing.
- The DPP is a more overtly pro-independence party compared to the main opposition centre-right Kuomintang (KMT), which is less confrontational towards Beijing. Early opinion polling shows the selection of candidates for each party could prove crucial. New DPP chair and Vice President Lai Ching-te is seen as the strong favourite for his party's nomination.
- Polls show if Lai faces off against KMT chair Eric Chu (who lost to Tsai in the 2016 contest) then he stands a good chance of winning a third successive term for the DPP. However, if the KMT selects Taipei Mayor Hou You-yi then the opposition would be favourites according to polling.