Taiwan's premier resigns amid weak popular support

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Associated Press

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 9:04 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 9:04 PM

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan's top economic official has resigned as popular support for the government plunges even though the island has been emerging from an economic slowdown.

The office of President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that the president accepted Premier Sean Chen's resignation for what it said were health reasons.

The 63-year-old Chen is a prestigious financial expert. He became premier shortly after Ma was re-elected to his second term in January 2012.

Taiwan's economy has recently shown stronger signs of a recovery. But Chen has been criticized for failing to coordinate and implement policy changes promptly to deal with the impact of the global economic crisis and other domestic issues.

Ma's popularity has dropped below 20 percent with public complaints about his perceived weak leadership and declining living standards.

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