Candidates from the opposition movements and parties in Hong Kong won a landslide victory last November 24 elections to the district councils of 18 districts of Hong Kong. As follows from preliminary results, which leads the radio station RTHK, supporters of the opposition camp received 396 of 452 locations (almost 90%) – more than ever. The Pro-government bloc was previously controlled about 75% of the seats in local councils.
Experts point out that the voting is mostly symbolic, because the city Council actually has no real political power. The deputies of the local Council cannot make laws or important decisions. They advise the government of Hong Kong and make proposals for the improvement of life in specific areas. However, the winners of local elections receive representation in a 1200-seat electoral body that every 5 years selects the head of government of Hong Kong. To date, the victory was always won by the candidate who was supported by Beijing officials.
The turnout in the first elections after the outbreak of mass protests was 71%, the number of voters is estimated at 2.9 million people, reports the Russian service of the BBC. In the last election in 2015, the turnout was at 47%. Commentators regard the elections as a test of the support of the head of administration Carrie Lam, the protege of Beijing, the actions of which closely followed the protesters.
Platform opposition movements, which are called as Pro-democracy, stated that its task is to convey to Beijing the voice of the people protesting in Hong Kong in recent months. The supporters urged them to vote for those who wanted to Express outrage at the mess that gave the city the demonstrators.
In the current election was attended by several notable Hong Kong politicians, both experienced and become known on the current wave of protest. Propinsi scandalous politician, Junius Ho, which in early November had stabbed a man, pretending to be his supporter, judging by preliminary results, did not pass in Parliament. Ho has repeatedly spoken out in support of the police and the violent dispersal of protests. In July Ho got on a photo with a group of people later attacked demonstrators in the subway. Media suspect that the members of the Triad – the Chinese mafia.
Activist Jimmy sham, which is known as one of the organizers of the protests and the leader of the Civic front for human rights, ran for the first time and got a seat in Parliament. Shortly before the election sham was attacked on the street and beaten with hammers.
In late October, Hong Kong authorities have suspended from participation in elections to bodies of local self-government 23-year-old activist, member of the Pro-democracy movement, Joshua Wong, who in 2014 was one of the leaders of the protest “Movement umbrellas”. However, replacing Wong candidate, according to published results, passed in Parliament. Sam Wong on Twitter called the election a historic event that testifies to the fact that support for the protesters by society are not exhausted.
452 parliamentary seat claimed more than a thousand candidates. Another 27 seats allocated to the representatives of the urbanized areas of Hong Kong. Before the election, most seats had propinsi candidates. Near some polling stations saw the police, but they tried not to catch the eye. “Given the current difficult situation, pleased to note that the elections were conducted in a relatively calm and peaceful atmosphere,” commented Carrie Lam after the polls closed.
She noted that the Hong Kong government respects the election results. “I noticed that many interpret the election results as a reflection of public discontent with the situation in the society, and other deep issues. The government of the special district is ready to listen carefully to the views of the residents and to seriously reevaluate the situation,” said Lam, the words which leads RIA “Novosti”.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Hong Kong remains a Chinese irrespective of the results of the local elections and urged to await the final outcome of the vote. “Any attempt to harm or impede the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong will not succeed,” said Wang to reporters after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo (quoted by “Interfax”).
Since the beginning of summer in Hong Kong held a mass anti-government protests against the authorities ‘ attempts to approve the bill on extradition, which allows to give offenders mainland China. Despite the decision of the head of administration to completely abandon the initiative, supporters of the opposition among the youth expressed their willingness to continue their actions.
In addition to the withdrawal of the draft law on extradition, the protesters demanded to investigate cases of abuse of power by the police, to refuse the qualification of the protests as “rebellion”, the release of the arrested demonstrators and to move to a system of direct elections, and to abolish the ban on wearing masks during rallies.
China’s Central government condemned the protests and accused foreign powers of fomenting the unrest. The foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned other countries from intervening in the Affairs of Hong Kong, saying that the situation there is “internal”. It was also reported that Beijing rejected the proposal of the head of administration of Hong Kong Carrie Lam to completely abandon the bill on extradition and ordered her not to yield to any other demands of the protesters.