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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Taiwanese missing out on voting

By Zheng Yi (Global Times)

09:47, January 12, 2012

Many Taiwanese living in the Chinese mainland will not be able to vote in elections as they are busy with their jobs and do not have time to fly back to their hometowns to take part.

"I have to give up my voting rights as I cannot get back to Taipei this Saturday, and I was not allowed to appoint anyone else to vote on my behalf," saidCeline Lin, a Taipei resident who now lives in Beijing.

Despite not taking part in the voting, Lin stated that she still hopes that Ma Ying-Jeou can win the election.

The Kuomintang candidate will stand in the election together with Tsai Ing-wen, the chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Soong Chuyu, the chairman of the People First Party.

According to a recent survey carried out by the Taipei-based Chinese Times, the election situation is tight despite the fact incumbent Ma Ying-Jeou is leading the other two main candidates by three points.

The number of registered voters this year increased by over 760,000 compared to four years ago, with 18 million people expected to go to the polls Saturday, according to data released by Taiwan’s "Central Election Commission" on Tuesday.

According to the commission’s official website, the election will be held from 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday with polling stations in Taiwan numbering more than 14,800.

"Ma tends to push forward cross-Straits harmony and development in a gradual and mild manner, which makes me feel more comfortable," said Lin, who added that she did not agree with the DPP’s insistence on independence for Taiwan, which would disturb the peace.

Like Lin, Monica Lau has also chosen to stay in Beijng for her work rather than fly back to Taiwan to vote. "The election requires Taiwanese to vote in the places where their residences are registered, so I have to vote in my hometown, and it would be invalid if I voted in other cities in Taiwan," Lau said.

Yang Lixian, a researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was too early to say who will win the election.

"If Ma wins in the election, the peaceful development between Taiwan and the mainland will be maintained and consultations will be carried out, which will be better for both sides," Yang said.

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