Stunned by Tuesday's surprise resignation of Taiwan Provincial Governor James Soong Chu-yu , the Kuomintang (KMT) yesterday shifted into damage control mode, urging him to change his mind. But the Governor, who spent yesterday at a friend's house avoiding emissaries sent to soothe him, appeared firm in his decision. Mr Soong's resignation was offered in protest at the planned suspension of provincial elections, including balloting for governor and the 77-member Taiwan Provincial Assembly, pending marginalisation of the Provincial Government. The proposal was part of a consensus reached last week by representatives of the KMT and the pro-Taiwan independence Democratic Progressive Party at a conference on national development. The resignation has embarrassed the KMT, as law requires a by-election to replace Mr Soong, even though his post appears doomed. Arriving at Hong Kong airport yesterday morning on a private visit, Mr Soong's wife, Viola Chen Wan-shui, said her husband was not likely to change his mind. 'He has already said what needed to be said,' Ms Chen said. 'There are lots of other ways for him to continue serving the nation.' She said Mr Soong might become a teacher or hit the lecture circuit, adding that he would not relinquish his KMT membership. Mr Soong's chief spokesman, Huang Yi-chiao, speaking at the Provincial Government's Nantou county headquarters, also said his boss probably would not come back to work. A series of emissaries dispatched by the KMT leadership to Mr Soong's Taipei residence in an effort to talk him out of resigning left empty-handed after finding no one was at home. The visitors included Examination Yuan President Hsu Shui-teh , who stepped down as the KMT's secretary-general last year; Wang Jin-ping, Vice-Speaker of the Legislative Yuan; and Interior Minister Lin Feng-cheng who, until six months ago, had worked under Mr Soong as his vice-governor. 'I came here to try to talk Governor Soong out of it,' Mr Wang said. 'The shock [from the resignation] would be even bigger than most people think.' Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Taiwan Provincial Assembly, Liu Ping-wei , held a meeting with Vice-President Lien Chan yesterday morning following an annual New Year's Day flag-raising ceremony. Provincial officials were absent from the ceremony in an apparent snub. Mr Liu said he asked Mr Lien, who also heads the Cabinet, to seek urgently Mr Soong's return and conveyed the Provincial Assembly's opposition to the planned dismemberment of the Provincial Government. Seeking to boost sagging morale among provincial government employees, Mr Lien reassured the assembly Speaker the public servants would be placed in new jobs and looked after.