Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang has announced his resignation, days after he lost the ruling party's primary for the 2008 presidential elections.

Mr. Su said Saturday in Taipei that in light of changing political developments, he was resigning in order to "free" himself from his position.

Media reports say that Su's resignation has been approved by President Chen Shui-bian.

Last Sunday, former Premier Frank Hsieh won the Democratic Progressive Party's primary elections to become the party's candidate in next year's presidential vote.

The 60-year-old is a lawyer by training and a former mayor of Taiwan's second largest city, Kaohsiung. He has taken a more conciliatory approach toward relations with China than current President Chen.

Mr. Hsieh's challenger in the presidential election in March will be former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou of the opposition Nationalist Party (Kuomintang).

The Democratic Progressive Party is expected to formally announce Mr. Hsieh's candidacy later this month.

President Chen must step down next year after completing his second four-year term.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.