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Taiwan Premier Announces Resignation, Cabinet Reshuffle to Follow


Taiwan Premier Frank Hsieh has announced his resignation, paving the way for a Cabinet reshuffle following the ruling party's crushing defeat in last month's local elections.

Mr. Hsieh told reporters Tuesday in Taipei that Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian accepted his resignation late Monday.

During local elections in December, the President's Democratic Progressive Party won only six of 23 mayoral and county posts. The opposition Nationalist Party and its allies won all 17 of the remaining races, almost three times as many seats as the DPP.

The President's party had plunged in opinion polls after a corruption scandal involving the president's former deputy chief of staff.

The DPP advocates a separate identity for Taiwan, while the Nationalist Party and its allies oppose independence for the island.

Taiwan split from China in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing claims the island as part of its own territory.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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