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Ma Ying-jeou's Resignation Official: KMT
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Taiwan's main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), said Wednesday the resignation of Ma Ying-jeou from the post of KMT chairman has taken effect.

The KMT had tried to persuade Ma to remain in the post but he was firm in his decision, Wu Den-yi, secretary-general of the KMT, was quoted as saying by Taiwan media.

The party will elect a new chairman in three months according to its regulations.

Ma Ying-jeou submitted his resignation on Tuesday after he was indicted on charges of corruption.

At a press conference held to announce the resignation, Ma defended himself against the charges and immediately declared that he would run for the 2008 Taiwan leader election if selected KMT candidate.

Taiwan prosecutors said Ma diverted 11 million New Taiwan dollars (US$333,000) from Taipei's special allowances funds to his private account when he was mayor of Taipei.

The clean government committee, which operates under the KMT, published an investigation report after Ma's indictment was announced, arguing that the special allowances deposited in Ma's personal account had all been used for public welfare services. 

(Xinhua News Agency February 15, 2007)

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