Taiwan's opposition candidate Ma Ying-jeou won his country's presidential election Saturday, a victory many hope will defuse tension with China over the neighboring island's aspirations for independence. Ma's win returns the presidency to the Nationalist Party, which ruled Taiwan for five decades before suffering defeats in the past two elections. But the size of Ma's triumph — he won by 17 percentage points — confounded many people, who thought the race had been tightening in the final days over China's crackdown in Tibet. Ma won 58% of the votes compared to 41.5% for his challenger, according to the Central Election Commission. Turnout was 76%, the commission said.

SOURCE: Associated Press