Winning candidate Kelvin Lam and activist Joshua Wong greet people and thank them for their support, outside of South Horizons Station, in Hong Kong,
HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s democrats romped to a landslide and symbolic majority in district council elections winning 17 of the 18 councils after residents turned out in record numbers on Sunday to vote following six months of anti-government protests in the embattled city.
In a rare weekend lull in the unrest that has rocked the financial hub, democratic candidates across the city of 7.4 million people secured more than half of the 452 district council seats for the first time against a strongly resourced and mobilized pro-establishment opposition.
When the results began trickling in after midnight, including upset wins for democrats against heavyweight pro-Beijing opponents, some voting centers erupted in loud cheers and chants of “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution Now” – a slogan used by many protesters on the streets over the past six months.
Almost three million people voted, a record turnout of more than 71% that appeared to have been spurred by the turmoil, almost double the number last time.
Hong Kong’s district councils control some spending and decide a range of livelihood issues such as transport. They also serve as an important grassroots platform to radiate political influence in the China-ruled city.