Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Chen Chu (陳菊), who recently quit her job as mayor of Kaohsiung after 12 years of service, was sworn in as secretary-general of the Presidential Office on Monday.
“I promise to give my best effort to help President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) govern the country,” Chen said before she was sworn in by Tsai.
“It was a hard decision to leave Kaohsiung, but I do believe that the team will duly accomplish their given tasks before a new mayor takes the helm,” said Chen, as she also thanked Kaohsiung citizens for their support over the past 12 years.
At Tsai’s request, Chen agreed on April 5 to take over from Jason Liu (劉建忻), who had been acting Presidential Office secretary-general since late February.
At Monday’s swearing-in ceremony, Chen praised Tsai for her resolve to carry out reform at a time when Taiwan is facing huge challenges at home and abroad and she urged the public to join the effort to create a better future for the country.
“I’ll do my best to help the president in her mission to lead the country on a path of sustained development and long-lasting security,” Chen said.
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), who witnessed the swearing-in, referred to the new secretary-general as “our beloved and respected Sister Chu” and said she was a “fighter for democracy.”
The vice president said he hoped Chen Chu would continue to defend Taiwan’s values and would help Tsai build the country’s competitiveness in a fiercely competitive global environment.
Chen Chu, a heavyweight of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) who had been serving as Kaohsiung mayor since 2006, had seven months to go before the end of her third term.
With her move to the Presidential Office, Deputy Mayor Hsu Li-ming (許立明) has taken over as acting head of the local government until the municipality elections in Taiwan’s six major cities on Nov. 24.
Meanwhile, Chen Chu on Monday denied speculations that she would run the campaign of former Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is expected to emerge as the DPP’s candidate in the mayoral election in New Taipei.
“I think electoral campaigns are the party’s business,” she told reporters at the Presidential Office’s press center. “But performing well in my new job as the president’s top aide will greatly help his election bid, I think.”
(By Lu Hsin-hui and Flor Wang)