Taiwan’s prime minister resigns in bid to boost president’s popularity

Taiwan’s ruling party said on Monday that President Cai Ing-wen has accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Lin Quan in a move expected due to a drop in public support for the president.

Taiwan leaders often resort to changing prime ministers to overcome low support. Lin faced increasing pressure to resign after Cai’s popularity fell to 29.8 percent by August since taking office in May 2016, according to a private-sector poll.

“The president accepted his resignation after honest talks,” Cai’s Progressive Democratic Party said in a statement.

William Lai, mayor of Tainan City and a leading member of the ruling party, is expected to take over as the successor to the prime minister, who will hold a press conference at 0630 GMT.

Lawmakers from the opposition and from the ruling party also criticized Lin. Pressure has mounted on the president to seriously consider dismissing the prime minister to pave the way for her campaign for a new term in 2020, especially after freezing relations with China and amid popular anger over pension reforms, labor law amendments and other unacceptable measures.