TAIPEI, Taiwan - President Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated into a second term in office yesterday amid slumping poll ratings and mass protests.

Some 40,000 people took to the streets Saturday afternoon in a colorful demonstration that brought traffic in parts of the city to a virtual standstill ahead of the president’s inaugural address yesterday morning.

Thousands of protesters staged a sit in on the main Kaitekalan Boulevard to express their dissatisfaction at at the policies of Ma and the ruling Kuomintang party.

Demonstrators said they were angered by Ma’s energy reforms, which have seen recent hikes in the price of fuel and electricity, rising national debt and the president’s intent to lift a ban on US beef imports despite concern over use of the leanness enhancing drug ractopamine.

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