Several anti-Beijng youth leaders win seats in Hong Kong’s legislative election

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, September 5: With a record turnaround of 58% at its first citywide election since the democracy protests, several pro-democracy and pro-independence candidates won seats in Hong Kong’s legislative election held on Sunday.

Among those elected, Nathan Law, a 23-year-old youth leader of the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in 2014 said “it showed people wanted change,” according to media reports.

“Young people have a sense of urgency when it comes to the future,” he added.

Mr Law further warned that pro-democracy legislators would “have to be united to fight against the [Chinese] Communist Party”.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Although, electing Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, the head of government is off-limits to the voters, the new crop of youth leaders aspiring for independence and democracy have also retained one third of seats in the Legislative Council that gives them the right to veto major legislation and public funding.

Hong Kong’s legislative council has 70 seats, entrusted to pass laws and budgets in the territory, out of which only 35 constituency seats are directly elected by the registered voters. Thirty seats, called ‘functional constituencies’, representing particular professions or trades are voted exclusively by people connected to those professions or trades; they are mostly pro–Beijing. Furthermore, representatives for five ‘super seat’ constituencies are chosen by voters across the territory.