Tens of thousands of Taiwanese rallied in Taipei on Saturday to voice their anger at President Ma Ying-jeou over a spate of controversial policies, on the eve of his inauguration for a second term.

Protesters held placards proclaiming “President Ma, you suck!” and put stickers printed with the word “anger” on their faces in a demonstration organised by the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Slowing economy

Mr. Ma has come under fire over a recent string of policies including the “double hikes” of fuel and electricity prices, amid a slowing economy and rising inflation.

Police estimated a turnout of nearly 40,000 while the DPP claimed about 100,000 people joined the rally.

Mr. Ma's approval rating stood at around 40 per cent ahead of the January presidential elections, when he won a comfortable victory for a second and final four-year term.

However, recent controversies sent his popularity plunging to 19.5 per cent, its lowest level in nearly three years according to a poll of 1,086 people released by Wealth Magazine last week.

Mr. Ma was elected in 2008 on a China-friendly platform and his government hailed fast-improving ties with Beijing during his first term, with a major trade pact signed by the two sides in 2010.

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