Taiwan’s weekend vote will be a test for its president, as China looks on

Date:  November 23, 2018
By: Kelly Olsen, CNBC

  • Taiwan holds local elections on Saturday that analysts say are a de facto referendum on the midway point of President Tsai Ing-wen’s term.
  • Voters will choose mayors and local councils, as well as cast ballots on same-sex marriage and phasing out nuclear power.
  • Concerns about the economy and relations with China will be on voters’ minds, analysts say.

Taiwan will be holding local elections on Saturday at the mid-point of President Tsai

Ashley Pon | Getty Images
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen waves to the crowd on May 20, 2016 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Ing-wen’s leadership — and the focus will be on the island’s sluggish economy and often fraught relations with China.

While Tsai is not on the ballot, the polls are seen as a chance for the electorate to rate her performance as they vote for mayors, councils and other positions.

Relations across the Taiwan Strait ebb and flow depending on who holds power in Taipei — and tensions with Beijing have risen since Tsai’s independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) swept to power two years ago.

China prefers the Kuomintang (KMT), or Nationalist Party, which eschews talk of going it alone and stresses economic ties with the mainland, from which troops fled in 1949 after defeat in the Chinese Civil War.    [FULL  STORY]

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