Taiwan's premier quit in a shock announcement on Monday and the entire cabinet prepared resignations for later in the week as President Ma Ying-jeou fights his worst crisis yet in office over the response to last month's deadly typhoon.
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan, the appointed head of Taiwan's cabinet, told a news conference he would leave and that other ministers would offer to do the same on Thursday over the perceived slow or messy response to Typhoon Morakot, which killed up to 758 people as it drenched the island from Aug. 7-9.
Morakot triggered massive landslides that wiped out parts of villages in the island's southern mountains.
"I'm the top administrator and all of the political responsibility rests on my shoulders, so I offered my resignation to the president, and he agreed," Liu told a news conference.
Ma's ruling Nationalist Party (KMT), which has made a name for pursuing economic links and peace with long-time political rival China since Ma took office in May 2008, faces tough local elections in December.
Liu's departure is the first shakeup in the cabinet since Ma was elected. Taiwan's defense minister and other officials had offered to resign last month.
Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2009, 14:38