Rallies Held Week Before Taiwan Presidential Poll

By Salon Staff

Published January 8, 2012 10:18AM (EST)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Tens of thousands of Taiwanese have rallied to support their favored presidential candidates days ahead of the election.

Incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou led a large crowd of supporters marching along a main Taipei thoroughfare Sunday. His main challenger, Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, stood on a truck greeting voters in southern Tainan city.

Polls ahead of next Saturday's election indicate an extremely tight race between Ma and Tsai.

During his 3 1/2 years in office, Ma has lowered tensions across the Taiwan Strait by engaging China economically. Tsai has refused to renounce her party's pro-independence platform, to the ire of China, which still claims the island as part of its own.

The two sides split amid civil war in 1949.

Salon Staff

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