Polls Close In Taiwan's Presidential Election

Published January 14, 2012 8:18AM (EST)

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Voting has ended in Taiwan's closely fought presidential election, which pits incumbent Ma Ying-jeou's vision of better China relations against his main challenger's focus on growing income inequality.

Eighteen million Taiwanese were eligible to vote in Saturday's polls. About 80 percent of them were expected to vote. Opinion surveys published a week ago — the last permitted under Taiwanese law — showed Ma clinging to a slim 3 to 4 percentage point lead over Tsai Ying-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

A third candidate, James Soong, a former heavyweight in Ma's Nationalist Party, has little chance of winning, though political analysts say he could draw voters away from the president.

By Salon Staff

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