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Taiwan Elects Tsai as First Female President


A supporter of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen celebrates to preliminary results at their party headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 16, 2016.

A supporter of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen celebrates to preliminary results at their party headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, Jan. 16, 2016.

[Editor's Note: The audio will follow shortly. Thank you for your patience.]

The ruling Nationalist Party (KMT) of Taiwan lost the presidential election Saturday.

Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will become the first female president of the island nation. Tsai takes over from President Ma Ying-jeou, who had served eight years.

The changes are expected to bring historic changes to Taiwan, one of Asia’s most vibrant democracies.

Tsai will face the tasks of dealing with China, which is Taiwan's biggest trading partner. Making stronger Taiwan's failing economy and wages — particularly for young workers — are other challenges she will face.

In a speech hours after voting ended, KMT candidate Eric Chu apologized for failure and congratulated his opponent,

"We've lost," Chu said. "The KMT has suffered an election defeat. We haven't worked hard enough and we failed voters' expectations."

Ma could not run again because of limits on how long he could serve.

William Ide of VOA News reported this story. Kathleen Struck of VOA Learning English adapted it.

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Words in This Story

historic -- an event that will be marked in time because of its importance

vibrant -- bright, exciting, colorful, active, lively

democracies -- the system of government in which the majority rules

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