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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ma Ying-jeou

Ma Ying-jeou (traditional Chinese: 馬英九; simplified Chinese: 马英九; pinyin: Mǎ Yīngjiǔ; born July 13, 1950) is the 12th term and current President of the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, and the Chairman of the Kuomintang Party, also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party. He formerly served as Justice Minister from 1993 to 1996, Mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006, and Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) from 2005 to 2007. Ma was elected Mayor of Taipei in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. He was elected Chairman of the Kuomintang by party members on July 16, 2005. He announced his resignation on February 13, 2007, after being indicted by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office on charges of misuse of mayoral funds during his tenure as the mayor of Taipei; he was later cleared of all charges. Ma subsequently won the presidency by 58.45% of the popular vote in the ROC presidential election of 2008. He was sworn into office as president on May 20, 2008, and sworn in as the Chairman of the Kuomintang on October 17, 2009.
While often nicknamed as "Teflon pot" for his extreme preservation of personal image, Ma was nonetheless caught in some political controversies. A series of mishaps during his tenure as the Mayor of Taipei, including the administration problems that enlarged the extent of the Typhoon Nari (納莉風災), the Shutdown of Hoping Hospital (和平封院事件), the Phosgene Incident (捷運光氣事件), the Scalping Incident (捷運扯頭皮事件) and the Human Ball Scandal (邱小妹人球事件), impaired Ma's reputation. However, Ma maneuvered through these incidents relatively unscathed.
One of Ma's most satisfactory mayoral construction was the Maokong Gondola. However, the frequent breakdown of the gondola caused the residents' distaste of the new transportation system. One poll showed only 14% of the Taipei City residents were satisfied with it, and it even led to protests. The Taiwan Environmental Information Center (台灣環境資訊協會) states that the choice to use the gondola used in the temperate zone in the tropical zone shows the failure of the Taipei City government led by Ma.

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