Hong Kong local elections kicked off Sunday, which will test support for the struggling government of Chief Executive Carrie Lam after nearly six months of anti-government protests. With a record number of candidates, elections are being held for the first time this year on all 452 seats.
The Yuen Long area, close to the Chinese border, is usually in the sphere of influence of pro-government parties, but after months of violent protests and unrest, the balance of power in its 45-seat council is likely to face a tough test.
A record 4.1 million voters, out of the city’s 7.4 million residents, also registered to vote, partly due to registration campaigns during the months of protests.
4.1 million people to cast their votes in Hong Kong local elections
This came as the Polytechnic University campus in Hong Kong – besieged by security forces for more than a week – appeared to be deserted desolate land on Saturday, with some protesters still holed up in shelters around it, against the backdrop of a protest movement launched in June 2019 after the release of a project. Law authorizing extradition to China.
In an interview with Fox News on Friday, US President Donald Trump said he had told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping that crushing the protests would have “a huge negative impact” on efforts to end the 16-month-old trade war. “Without my intervention, Hong Kong would have been annihilated in 14 minutes,” he said, without giving any evidence.
Global analysts weighs the local elections as game changer in China-West tug-of-war.
Local elections in Hong Kong
Hong Kong local elections kick off
Side of the local elections
Voter walks to the polling station
A citizen explains how to vote