Taiwan premier survives no-confidence vote

Taiwanese Premier Sean Chen comfortably survived a no-confidence vote brought by opposition parties Saturday over what they see as his cabinet's failure to curb rising unemployment and inflation.

The bid failed by 46 votes to 66, said parliamentary speaker Wang Jin-pyng.

A minimum of 57 votes, representing more than half of the 113-seat parliament, would have been required to oust the premier.

"I thank the lawmakers for their support and I'd like to remind members of the cabinet to stay alert," President Ma Ying-jeou said in a statement after the vote.

Ma's Kuomintang party holds 64 seats in the parliament.

The opposition move came amid mounting anger over Taiwan's income levels, which have remained nearly flat for the past decade as factories have moved production to China to cash in on its cheaper labour and land.

Inflation hit a four-year-high of 3.42 percent in August on the back of soaring food prices after two destructive typhoons, while the export-reliant economy shrank 0.18 percent year-on-year in the three months to June.

Under Taiwan's political system the premier heads the cabinet and is appointed by the president.

It was only the second no-confidence vote against a premier in Taiwan's history. The first, which also failed, was held in 1999 against then premier Vincent Siew.

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