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Despite calls, Ma won't quit as mayor of Taipei

Ma Ying-jeou won't quit as mayor of Taipei despite a repeated call from within his Kuomintang to resign to devote full time to the ouster of President Chen Shui-bian.

The latest call came Friday night, when Ma called a special central standing committee meeting, Kuomintang sources said.

Many members of the central standing committee, including a party vice chairman, urged Ma to give up his job as mayor so that he may work full time to force the president to step down, sources aid.

The hastily called meeting discussed how the Kuomintang should cope with Taiwan's unprecedented political crisis triggered by first lady Wu Shu-chen's indictment on corruption charges.

President Chen was not indicted together with his wife Friday, but prosecutors in charge said he would be on leaving office.

"Ma didn't accept their call," one Kuomintang insider said. "The party chairman believes," he added, "he can handle both jobs well and it's better he serves up his second term."

He has to retire as mayor before the end of this year. Voters are scheduled to elect a new mayor of Taipei on Dec. 9.

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