Polls open, Taiwanese expected to elect first female president

Taiwanese went to the polls Saturday in an election widely expected to produce the island's first female president.

Tsai Ing-wen, 59, enjoyed a comfortable lead in all opinion polls ahead of the voting, largely due to growing discontent with outgoing, two-term President Ma Ying-jeou.

Tsai, who chairs the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is facing off against Eric Chu, the candidate for Ma's Nationalist Party (KMT).

Chief campaign issues included a near-bankrupt pension system, food safety, high real-estate prices, a stagnant economy and social care in an ageing society with a low birth rate.

But relations with mainland China divide the two main parties the most. The KMT favours closer ties, but the DPP favours independence.

James Soong of the People First Party is the third candidate in the race.

Last update: Sat, 16/01/2016 - 04:42

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