Taiwan's top prosecutor has tendered his resignation in a move analysts see as a protest against criticism from the island's leader, Chen Shui-bian, that the judiciary failed to stamp out vote-buying in local government elections. In office for just over a year, Wu Ying-chao dropped the bombshell yesterday, saying he had already sent a written resignation to Mr Chen. The announcement came just hours after the president hit out at rampant vote-buying practices during the December 3 polls. 'The prosecution and investigation authorities made all-out efforts to curb vote-buying during the 'three-in-one' local elections. Yet there is still misunderstanding from others. To avoid continued distortion of the judiciary's image of impartiality, [I] have decided to quit,' Mr Wu said in a statement. He said prosecutors had indicted 2,511 people in 750 alleged vote-buying cases during and after the elections - a record high. Although Mr Wu said his resignation had nothing to do with Mr Chen's criticism, friends of the attorney-general and local political analysts believed the move signalled Mr Wu's frustration over the president's remarks. Addressing new recruits to the Bureau of Investigation in Taipei yesterday morning, Mr Chen said vote-buying was still a common practice despite the government's efforts over the past five years. He said vote-buying in the recent county magistrate, councillor and neighbourhood chief elections was worse than during last year's legislative elections. The polls delivered Mr Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) a humiliating defeat and the results were seen as a no-confidence vote in Mr Chen. Mr Chen also used the address to call for an end to alleged corrupt practices of certain officials, but also criticised some investigators for revealing a corruption scandal that hurt the DPP in the local polls.