Premier William Lai held his last extraordinary session on the morning of Jan. 11 and announced the resignation of his Cabinet. Lai stressed that he orally tendered his resignation after the Democratic Progressive Party's defeat in November's local elections and was asked to temporarily stay on to help maintain the political situation because the DPP couldn't be falling apart. He says the time has arrived and his departure will allow the president to achieve new breakthroughs. Lai also quoted some lines in Jing-yong's wuxia novel "The Return of the Condor Heroes," which many saw as a hint about his future plans.
The Legislative Yuan passed the central budget (on Jan. 10). My time is up. It's time for me to live up to my political responsibility.
After announcing the en masse resignation of his Cabinet, William Lai signs the official document and thanks individual Cabinet members for their hard work.
Lai talked at length about all the achievements of his Cabinet during his tenure and said he has completed the mission given to him by President Tsai Ing-wen and spurred national development. Lai talked about how he visited all 22 municipalities and listened to public opinion on Tsai's Forward-Looking Infrastructure Development Program and long-term care 2.0 plan. He also saw Taiwan through the Southern Taiwan earthquake in 2016, typhoon flooding last year and the Puyuma Express rail accident last year. Lai said even if his achievements can't be seen now, he got the ball rolling. He also said he tendered his resignation following the Democratic Progressive Party's crushing defeat in the local elections two months ago, but was convinced to remain at his post for political stability. He says his time is up now that the central budget has been passed.
The Democratic Progressive Party suffered a crushing defeat, but it couldn't go down without a fight. I should have been determined to stay at my post and stabilize the political situation. My resignation will also allow President Tsai Ing-wen to achieve massive breakthroughs and launch new initiatives.
Lai said he hopes the next Cabinet will live up to public expectations and hinted about his future plans by quoting a line from "The Return of the Condor Heroes" said by Yang Guo to Zhang Junbao.
I am happy to be here with you all today. If we cross paths again in the future, we can still share a drink and enjoy each other's company. If it is fate, we will meet again on the road as making Taiwan stronger. God bless Taiwan. God bless the Taiwanese people.
The next Cabinet will have its hands full with personnel appointments at various independent agencies, including the top positions of the Central Election Commission and controversial Transitional Justice Commission, and the May 24 deadline for the legislation of same-sex marriage. With the next presidential election just one year away, the new Cabinet is facing an uphill climb.