Hong Kong elections: Record numbers vote in district council polls

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أخر تحديث : dimanche 24 novembre 2019 - 10:39
Hong Kong elections: Record numbers vote in district council polls

Voters have turned out in record numbers to cast their ballots in Hong Kong’s district council elections

By lunchtime, the number of voters had already surpassed the final total in the 2015 elections

The election is seen as a test of support for Hong Kong’s embattled Chief Executive Carrie Lam

Pro-democracy protest groups hope the vote will send a message to the Chinese government after five months of unrest and anti-government protests

Long queues formed on Sunday amid fears polls might be closed by authorities if violence disrupted the election

In the run-up to the election, pro-democracy protest groups had urged people not to cause disruption. No trouble has been reported so far

A record 4.1 million people have registered to vote – more than half the population of 7.4 million

More than 400 councillors are due to be elected to Hong Kong’s district council

Pro-democracy campaigners hope they will be able to increase their representation on the council, which traditionally has some influence in choosing the city’s chief executive

Pro-Beijing candidates are urging voters to support them in order to express frustration at the upheaval caused by continuous clashes between protesters and police

?What’s happening

Polls opened at 07:30 local time (23:30 GMT) on Sunday

By 16:30 more than 2.1 million people had voted (52.14% of all registered voters) compared to 754,705 (24.18%) within the same timescale in the last such elections in 2015, according to government figures

In total, 1.467 million people voted in the last poll. Only 3.1 million people were registered to vote in that election

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks to the press after casting her vote during the district council elections in Hong Kong on November 24, 2019
Image captionChief Executive Carrie Lam welcomed the « peaceful environment » for the vote

More than 1,000 candidates are running for 452 district council seats which, for the first time, are all being contested. A further 27 seats are allocated to representatives of rural districts

Currently, pro-Beijing parties hold the majority of these seats

Police were seen outside some polling stations and on the streets but correspondents said they kept a low profile

Facing the extremely challenging situation, I am pleased to say… we have a relatively calm and peaceful environment for (the) election today, Carrie Lam said after voting

Counting will start immediately after polls close at 22:30. Results are expected to start coming in before midnight

Free Opinions News – bbc.com

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