Ma indicates intent to resign as chair of KMT

By renouncing their support for pan-blue candidates, observers believe voters were expressing discontent toward the central government. Election results turned out to be much worse than the KMT expected and many regard Ma as the main culprit.
The party managed to hold only six of the 23 city and county governments nationwide. Of the nation's six special municipalities, the KMT won only New Taipei City and by a narrow margin.

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou indicated his intention to quit the party chairmanship in a gesture acknowledging responsibility for the unprecedented election defeat the KMT suffered on Saturday.

As elections drew to a close on Saturday night, Ma gave a public speech in which he stated that he has received the voters' message. “My responsibility at this moment is to propose reforms as soon as possible in order to answer the people's demand. I will not evade any responsibility,” Ma said.

However, this statement enraged many who believe that Ma, as KMT chairman, should take the most blame for the election debacle and step down immediately. Ma's failure to do so was considered “shameless” and “stubborn” by some critics.


Ma Tried to Maintain KMT Morale

KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said yesterday that Ma will “never be reluctant to leave his (chairman) position and will accept the required responsibility.” The KMT's central standing committee will make “major announcements” on Wednesday, Chen said.

Both Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) resigned on Saturday to assume responsibility for the party's heavy defeat. However, the moves did not pacify all, as some KMT supporters, including Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), called on Ma to step down as chairman.

According to the president's close aid, Ma believed that he had to stay calm and maintain morale when his party encountered the defeat. That is why he encouraged KMT members and supporters to stay strong, be united in times of uncertainty, have faith in the country and not be disappointed, the aid said.


Many Others Also to Share Blame

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) also expressed his intention to quit as KMT vice chairman yesterday to share in the responsibility.

The Executive Yuan is scheduled to hold a meeting today, and up to 81 government officials are expected to submit their resignations to share responsibility for the electoral loss.

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), who suffered a loss in his re-election bid, said yesterday that he would not quit his post as KMT vice chairman. “Now is the time to stay put and help the party recoup itself,” he said.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) are also vice chairmen of the ruling party. They are perceived as possible candidates to succeed Ma as the new chairman.


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