By Amy Chyan ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — President and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (���^�E) officially announced his resignation as party chairman yesterday at the KMT’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting and attributed the party’s election losses to KMT reforms that were not put in place fast enough to match the expectations of citizens.
The KMT released a statement saying that the committee has passed the roles of acting chairman and acting secretary-general to First Vice Chairman Wu Den-yih (�d���q) and Vice Chairman Hung Hsiu-chu (�x�q�W), respectively. Wu and Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (�q�s�y) accompanied Ma out of the meeting hall after his speech. Of the seven vice chairmen, New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (���߭�) and outgoing Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (�J�ӱj) were not present at the meeting.
Ma Takes Responsibility for Election Results Ma said that as chairman, the KMT’s unprecedented election defeat is his responsibility. Every vote represents the love people have for Taiwan, said Ma, who added that the election results are a reminder for those in government to humbly listen to the voices of the people. With Ma’s forewarning of resignation days prior to the event, domestic and international media gathered outside the meeting venue waiting to hear him speak. As media prepared for the President’s entrance, a seated KMT member rallied those around her to give Ma a standing ovation as he entered.Camera flashes blitzed him as he made his way to the speaker’s podium. Ma repeatedly apologized for ��letting the people down�� and said he hopes the new chairman will unite the party and bring fresh hope to those willing to give the KMT another chance.
Outside the KMT headquarters, police were armed with shields and assembled into groups. However, there were no disturbances. The only protestor was an elderly man who sat silently in front of the KMT HQ circled by pages of handwritten notes that spelled out his dissatisfaction with the central government. Ma ended his tenure as KMT chairman by shaking hands with party members while the KMT ��Prime Minister Memorial Song�� looped in the background.
Chu and Ko Hold Initial Meeting Chu and incoming Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (�_����) met yesterday at the New Taipei City Government for an initial meeting to chat about city policies, particularly about subway lines and roadways. Ko said that every city has advantages that Taipei City can learn from. When asked whether his previous comment about surpassing Singapore in eight years is a realistic goal, Ko said it is an objective that fuels him.