Outgoing Taiwan Premier Lin Chuan led his Cabinet to an en masse resignation on Thursday following his offer over the weekend to step down, making way for a new government that will take office the next day.
After gathering for a photo on the square of the Executive Yuan building, Lin told his Cabinet ministers that no matter how well his team had performed over the past 15 months, it is time to pass the baton.
“And every runner carrying the baton must do his or her best to sustain the lead until crossing the finish line,” he said.
Lin, who submitted his resignation to President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday, had faced calls to step down amid stinging criticism of the government’s performance, not only from the opposition but also the ruling party.
Many critics, including die-hard pro-independence activists and faction members coveting government positions, had criticized Lin and Cabinet members for being too sympathetic to pro-unification parties like the Nationalist Party.
Tsai, whose popularity has been on the wane, announced earlier this week that she had accepted Lin’s resignation and appointed Tainan Mayor William Lai as her new premier.
Lai, who will take the oath of office on Friday, has asked many of Lin’s Cabinet ministers to stay on, including Cabinet Spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung, Mainland Affairs Council Minster Katharine Chang, Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong and Finance Minister Sheu Yu-jer.
The appointment was seen as a bid to lift Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party’s sagging fortunes ahead of next year’s nationwide local elections.