|Ma Ying-jeou aide quits
A spokesman for Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou resigned amid a deepening political scandal.
Lo Chih-chiang, deputy secretary-general of the presidential office, said the expulsion of speaker Wang Jin-pyng on Wednesday had prompted his surprise decision, adding: “I want to take a break and spend time with my family.''
``The controversy over Wang's influence peddling case ... made me think that it's time to come to an end at work,'' he said.
The president sparked criticism after the ruling Kuomintang revoked Wang's membership Wednesday, which rendered him unable to continue as speaker.
Ma, also chairman of the KMT, said Wang was “unfit'' to head the legislature after he was accused of influencing prosecutors not to appeal in a lawmaker's court case. Ma described the incident as “the most shameful day'' in Taiwan's democracy.
Wang, 72, was a KMT heavyweight known for his grass-roots influence. His removal has sparked fears of a split within the party.
Meanwhile, Ma's popularity plunged to an all-time low of 11 percent amid the controversy, according to a survey released by the TVBS cable news channel on Thursday, while 55 percent disapproved of the KMT's move and just 17 percent approved.—AFP