President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he will resign as chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) when its Central Standing Committee meets today, following the ruling party’s landslide defeat in the nine-in-one elections on Saturday.
“Although we did not win this battle, we cannot forfeit our ideals and values; although we lost an election, we cannot forfeit the trust of the people,” Ma told party executives at a weekly meeting.
Ma’s statement came a day earlier than expected, after reports on Sunday anticipated that he would make the “big announcement” today.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
Ma yesterday said he was willing to shoulder responsibility for the KMT’s loss as its chairman, urging members to remain calm and resolute in the face of defeat.
“I have absolutely no attachment to my position [as chairman]; what really matters is what is best for the KMT,” Ma said. “I will officially resign as chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party at the Central Standing Committee [meeting] on Dec. 3 [today].”
Ma said there is still hope for the KMT as long as it is willing to engage in reflection and reform.
“Since I became chairman in 2005, I have always made party reform and solidarity my utmost priorities, to not only fulfill the expectations of party members, but also those of the public,” Ma said.
Although many changes have been made, the KMT’s footsteps on reform have lagged behind the public’s expectations, Ma said, adding that citizens’ disappointment made him feel “ashamed.”
“Passing on the baton to someone else at this crucial moment is also a form of taking responsibility,” he added. “As I said when I first became party chairman nine years ago: ‘[The position is] devoid of riches and glory, with only heavy burdens to carry.’ This saying remains true to this day.”
Meanwhile, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), a KMT vice chairman who narrowly won re-election, refused to comment on his prospects of becoming KMT chairman.
“Hasn’t the KMT suffered a bad enough defeat?” Chu said, urging fellow party members to refrain from “jostling for positions of power” at the moment.
“We should not give the impression that the KMT is still embroiled in infighting for this position,” Chu said as he fended off inquiries from reporters.
Amid speculation that Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was likely to run for party chairman, Wu took many by surprise when he announced on Monday that he was stepping down as a vice chairman and that he will not throw his hat into the chairmanship race.
Wu and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) — two of seven KMT vice chairpeople — have quit their posts to take responsibility for the election defeat.
Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), another vice chairman, has urged his colleagues to stay on in their posts at a time when the party is demoralized.
Hu lost his re-election bid.
Additional Reporting by Lai Hsiao-tung
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did