Opposition Wins Taiwan's Presidential Vote

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party claimed victory Saturday in the country's presidential elections. Domestic issues appear to have dominated the contest.

Some observers had predicted that the unrest in Tibet would hurt front-runner Ma Ying-jeou's chances. But Ma defeated the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's candidate, Frank Hsieh, by a convincing margin.

Ma is a Harvard-trained former mayor of Taipei. He has pledged closer economic ties with mainland China and held out the possibility of signing a peace agreement with Beijing to demilitarize the Taiwan Strait, a 100-mile-wide waterway that separates the two heavily armed sides.

Ma's victory came despite a last-minute effort by the DPP to fan outrage over China's handling of protests in Tibet, warning the crackdown could be replicated in Taiwan.

The Nationalist Party ruled Taiwan for nearly a half-century, until it was defeated by the DPP in 2000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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