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September 25, 2017

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Lee denies holding a grudge against premier

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Outgoing Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) told reporters yesterday morning that it is normal for a subordinate to have different opinions than his superior, stressing that he does not hold a grudge against Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

The Executive Yuan announced late on Tuesday that Lee will step down from his position and return to National Taiwan University as a professor in March. Cabinet Secretary-General Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) will assume the post following Lee's departure.

Noting that he met with Jiang on Tuesday afternoon regarding his decision, Lee said he turned down the premier's offer to be a minister without portfolio at the Executive Yuan because he has his own plans.

Lee went on to say that he believes he should at least complete the MOI's ongoing projects, such as the policy of urban redeployment to disaster prevention, adding that if he cannot achieve this goal, he "would choose to return to where I came from (university)."

Lee stressed that it is normal for civil servants to "come and go" from the government, noting that although he holds different views than the premier regarding various matters, but "it is an exaggeration to believe that we don't get along with each other."

When asked if Jiang consulted him on potential successors, Lee said Jiang did not, adding that this is not up to him to decide.

Chen told reporters yesterday that Jiang discussed the matter with him on the afternoon of Feb. 23, noting that he first suggested to Jiang that he should seek other potential candidates, but later on Feb. 25 Jiang called him again and asked him to take the position.

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