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Taiwan names new premier in cabinet reshuffle following poll defeat

[TAIPEI] Taiwan on Wednesday named Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo as the island's new premier, in a cabinet reshuffle that follows Saturday's resignation of the previous incumbent to take responsibility for the ruling party's defeat in local elections.

Jiang Yi-huah quit after President Ma Ying-jeou's ruling Kuomintang party lost key mayoral and local-level posts islandwide.

The shift in power in favour of the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party comes less than two years ahead of the next presidential election.

Mr Ma on Wednesday formally gave up his post as KMT chairman.

The election loss and his resignation as party chief leave Mr Ma and his new premier facing a difficult task steering policy as he sees out his second and final four-year presidential term that ends in 2016.