Jan 14. - Taiwan's incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou wins against contender Tsai Ing-wen in narrow race. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Elections have came to a close in Taiwan, and as the votes are tallied -- the island awaits the results of a tight race for the presidency. Incumbent president Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalist Party had a tiny edge in partial vote counts. Earlier in the day Ma cast his ballot, and only gave a smile, refusing to comment about the elections. Ma has fostered warmer ties with China, veering away from his predecessor who favoured independence. Some voters said Ma's policies led to better relations, and in turn, a better life for the Taiwanese. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 77-YEAR-OLD LOCAL RESIDENT AN CIANG WHO VOTED FOR TAIWAN PRESIDENT MA YING-JEOU, SAYING: "Life was miserable before 2008 with relations across the Taiwan Strait deteriorating and the economy shrinking. But since 2008, many problems have begun to be solved, which is a very good sign, and we want this to continue." But Ma's contender Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, says the incumbent president's policies are only benefitting the wealthy. Both Ma and Tsai are former law academics and hold doctorates - Ma from Harvard, and Tsai from the London School of Economics. Known for her analytical mind and negotiating skills -- Tsai has moved her party towards a more centrist position, toning down its pro-independence stance. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE TSAI ING-WEN SAYING: "I am ready emotionally (to become the President), and I also hope to brief the Taiwan people after the results come out later today." A DPP win could be tricky for China. Beijing's leaders, who will hand over power this year, will not want to destroy its legacy of stable relations with Taiwan. Many Chinese tourists flew to Taiwan ahead of the polls to see how democracy works. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) MS. LUO FROM GUANGDONG PROVINCE IN SOUTHERN CHINA, SAYING: "It is like watching a big show, or a concert. We have never experienced that before. It is so new to us. As for who is campaigning against whom, I still have no idea." At least for ordinary citizens across the straits -- Taiwan's elections come with a shared wish for lasting peace and stability. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.