Taiwan's Ma registers for election; lead slipping

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2011 10:40 PM

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has formally registered his re-election bid as his once-sweeping popular support is slipping as Jan. 14 election draws near.

Ma registered with the Central Election Commission on Monday. He said his re-election would ensure "national security, social stability and public ease of mind."

Several recent polls have showed Ma leading his main challenger, Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, by between 3-5 percentage points. That's down from a lead of 7-10 percentage points two months ago.

Ma's signature China engagement policy has brought tensions across the Taiwan strait to the lowest point in decades. But he is criticized for failing to address the interests of farmers and other less well-off people.