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Hong Kong voters back democracy

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Issue 2682
Counting the votes in Hong Kongs local elections
Counting the votes in Hong Kong’s local elections (Pic: Studio Incendo/Flickr)

Voters in Hong Kong delivered an unprecedented landslide for pro-democracy candidates in local elections last weekend.

The results shattered the myth that those who have taken to the streets for the last six months are an unrepresentative minority. The elections were essentially a referendum on the protests, and massively backed them.

Pro-democracy candidates won a majority of seats on all 18 councils, although they will control only 17 because a large number of government appointees shifted the balance of power in the Islands district.

Pro-Chinese government candidates won only just over 10 percent of the 452 openly contested seats.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said on Monday her government would respect the election results and would “listen humbly” to the views of the public. But the Chinese government was less restrained.

“Any attempts to create chaos in Hong Kong or to jeopardise its prosperity and stability will not be successful,” said the Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi.

Police brutally attacked protesters at Hong Kong Polytechnic University recently. But renewed protests will be needed, as well as reaching out to China’s workers and migrant workers in Hong Kong.

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