Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou resigned as chairman of Kuomintang (KMT) today, just three days after the party’s major loss in Taiwan’s local elections
The Nationalists issued a statement today saying that Ma holds himself responsible for the defeat and is stepping down as chairman.
The Straits Times reports:
Vice-Chairman Hung Hsiu-chu will be the acting chairman until the party holds an election to choose its new leader, United Daily News said. The poll is expected to take place in January at the earliest.
Hung was picked after two other vice-chairmen, Wu Den-yih and Hau Lung-pin, quit in the wake of Saturday’s election in which the KMT won just 6 out of 22 municipalities and counties.
Taiwanese media speculated that Ma would likely step down sometime this week. Ma, who’s headed KMT since 2009, saw low public opinion polls due in part to a wide wealth gap and high real estate prices that posed difficulties for young Taiwanese, Forbes said. Students and young activists occupied Taiwan’s legislature back in March to protest a Ma-backed trade agreement with Beijing over concerns that it would give the mainland too much economic influence over the island and ultimately hurt local job prospects.
Ma has two years left in his second and final term as Taiwan’s president, and is not allowed to run for a third term in 2016.