Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou resigns as chairman of ruling Kuomintang

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (right) bows to apologise as Vice-President Wu Den-yih stands next to him at the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) headquarters in Taipei on Nov 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (right) bows to apologise as Vice-President Wu Den-yih stands next to him at the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) headquarters in Taipei on Nov 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has resigned as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), three days after the party suffered its worst ever defeat in Taiwan's local elections, Taiwan media reports said.

Ma announced his decision to quit at a meeting of KMT's top officials on Tuesday, and will formally announce his resignation at the party's regular central standing committee meeting on Wednesday, Central News Agency reported.

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. 

Ma, 64, has led KMT since 2009. He has two more years to go in his second and final term as Taiwan President.