Taiwan's political scene was rocked yesterday by the resignation of Provincial Governor James Soong Chu-yu . Mr Soong, who became the island's first elected Provincial Governor in 1994, said he had quit because he could not stand presiding over the Provincial Government's dismemberment. He also stepped down from the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT) 31-member elite policy-making Central Standing Committee. Taiwan's two Vice-Governors, Lai In-jaw and Wu Jung-ming , and the Provincial Government's Secretary-General, Tsai Chung-hsiung , also resigned. But last night, Prime Minister Lien Chan urged Mr Soong to reconsider. Mr Lien's spokesman said he had only learned of the resignation from TV news reports, although Mr Soong said earlier he had sent his resignation to the premier's office. The KMT also said it would work to console Mr Soong. The dramatic protest was sparked when representatives of the KMT and the pro-Taiwan independent Democratic Progressive Party reached a landmark consensus on government reforms, including the proposed marginalisation of the Provincial Government. Their agreement, reached at the National Development Conference last week, also called for the freezing of gubernatorial and provincial assembly elections. In his emotional farewell address to the assembly, Mr Soong said his 1994 election was a result of years of democratic reforms. 'The Governor doesn't need sympathy, only the respect that the people of Taiwan province rightly deserve,' he said. Resigning was the best way to assume responsibility for the political fiasco while standing up for the work done by tens of thousands of provincial government employees, he added. Citing the words of Qing dynasty statesman Tseng Kuo-fan , Mr Soong proclaimed: 'Things that should be done must be done; things that shouldn't be done must not be done. Even things that must be accomplished but cannot, must be done.' But Mr Soong was not expected to quit his KMT membership. Observers said the resignation was expected to further embarrass the KMT leadership over the coming days and weeks. Under Taiwan law, a by-election will now have to be held to select a new provincial governor.