Mass rallies as countdown begins to Taiwan poll | Pakistan Today

Mass rallies as countdown begins to Taiwan poll

The Taiwan president and his main challenger drew huge crowds to campaign rallies on Sunday, as the rivals pulled out all the stops to attract wavering support ahead of next weekend’s election. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Taipei and other major cities to hail President Ma Ying-jeou and his rival Tsai Ing-wen, who are virtually neck-and-neck for Saturday’s presidential poll.
“The latest information I got is the turnout has exceeded 200,000,” a glowing Ma, of the Kuomintang party, told a rally in downtown Taipei, as supporters waved election flags and chanted slogans. The figure could not be independently confirmed. Ma is vying for a second and last four-year term, seeking to convince voters that a policy of boosting ties with China has been good for the island’s economy.
The raucous gatherings reflected the feisty side of Taiwan’s democracy, which is only a generation old, with many supporters bringing their pet cats and dogs, and others carrying dolls with Ma’s likeness. A group of workers from a leading transportation company turned up carrying T-shirts with their company logo, reflecting Ma’s popularity among many businesses with interests in China.
Meanwhile, Tsai, of the anti-China Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was concentrating most of her efforts further south, where concerns about the mainland could help her become the island’s first female president. In the morning she campaigned through the streets of Tainan, moving on later to Taichung in the centre of the island. The DPP said she attracted tens of thousands of supporters and was expected to see a turnout of 100,000 in an evening gathering in the capital.

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