Hong Kong election: Youth protest leaders win LegCo seats

A new generation of activists have for the first time won seats on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo).
Among them is Nathan Law, one of the young leaders of the mass pro-democracy demonstrations of 2014.

It is the first taste of real political power for the young protest leaders, who want more independence from China for the former British colony.

But pro-Beijing politicians will retain a majority in the 70-seat council, partly because of the electoral system.

Results were delayed by a record turnout, which saw some 58% of 3.8 million registered voters cast their ballots, compared with 45.2% in 2008. Full results are due later on Monday.
The election is the first in the territory since the 2014 “Umbrella Protests”, which saw central areas of Hong Kong paralysed for weeks by mostly young protesters.

They were demanding greater democracy for the territory amid concerns that Beijing was increasingly interfering in the former British colony’s politics, breaking the “one country, two systems” agreement.

Beijing denies this, and gave no concessions to the protesters.
“I think Hong Kongers really wanted change,” Mr Law, 23, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. “Young people have a sense of urgency when it comes to the future.”
Mr Law, whose Demosisto party campaigns for the right to self-determination, had the second highest number of votes in the multi-seat Hong Kong Island constituency.

Two candidates from the Youngspiration party, a more vocally pro-independence movement which also has its roots in the Umbrella Protests, were also on course to be elected.

However, several veteran democrats failed to retain their seats.
“People want change, change meaning that they want new faces… but the price is a further fragmentation [of the pro-democracy camp],” Lee Cheuk-yan, who lost out in the New Territories West constituency, told Reuters.


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