Face-to-face talks between Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the island's main opposition party, the Kuomintang, are likely to take place in the wake of Sunday's DPP leadership election. In what was seen as a gift to the new DPP new leader, KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou yesterday promised to meet his newly elected counterpart, Yu Shyi-kun. 'As long as there are appropriate topics, there shouldn't be any problem for such a meeting,' Mr Ma, who also heads the Taipei city government, said a day after Mr Yu was elected DPP chairman. Because the DPP lacks a majority in the legislature, President Chen Shui-bian and his independence-leaning DPP have long sought face-to-face talks with the KMT to try to overcome differences on a variety of political and domestic issues. The KMT's former leader, Lien Chan, closed the door on Mr Chen shortly after a meeting with the island's leader in 2000, accusing Mr Chen of stabbing him in the back over a controversial nuclear power project. During that meeting, Mr Chen told Mr Lien he would consider not terminating the KMT-supported project, but his government announced its suspension as they spoke. Mr Ma said yesterday he was willing to meet Mr Yu, a former premier and secretary-general of the Presidential Office, who is being seen as Mr Chen's proxy in the party machine. But he stressed such meetings would hinge on whether the sides could find 'mutually acceptable' issues to discuss. Meanwhile, President Chen is expected to reshuffle the cabinet following Mr Yu's election as DPP chairman. Most analysts expect Mr Chen to nominate Su Tseng-chang as premier, replacing Frank Hsieh Chang-ting. Mr Su, who declined to comment yesterday, stepped down as DPP chairman to take political responsibility for the party's humiliating defeat in last month's local government elections. Mr Hsieh yesterday said he had not been informed of any change. Mr Hsieh, who was appointed premier in February last year, has seen his popularity slip rapidly. According to the latest opinion poll of 1,188 eligible voters by cable news channel TVBS, Mr Hsieh's approval rating has slipped to 32 per cent from 47 per cent in May. His disapproval rating rose sharply to 49 per cent from 11 per cent in the same period.