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hong kong legislative council

Hong Kong is voting in the first major elections since pro-democracy protests in 2014.

Voters will choose 35 lawmakers based on geographical constituencies and 35 people to represent selected trades.

Hong Kong has partial democracy and not everybody can vote for all the seats. Thirty seats are decided by a pool of just 6% of the population.

Polls opened at 07:30 local time and are due to close 15 hours later.

The vote does not elect the Chief Executive, who is the head of government, but many analysts believe the outcome of today’s vote could have an impact on whether China grants current leader CY Leung a second term in office.

Photo AP

Photo AP

For two months in 2014 protesters demanded his resignation as the Occupy movement occupied major parts of Hong Kong and caused political upheaval while calling for the right to elect a leader directly.

Three main groups compete in September 4 elections: pro-Beijing parties including pro-business parties; traditional pro-democracy parties known as pan-democrats and localists, who want democracy but think there should be more confrontation with the government – some think Hong Kong should have more autonomy, while some advocate full independence.

The seats are in the Legislative Council, which passes laws and budgets in the territory.

There are 30 so-called functional constituencies which represent various professional and commercial groups, such as insurance, catering or education. These are voted in by company representatives in their industries.

Anyone without a functional constituency vote can vote for the final five seats.

The system means that although Hong Kong has 3.7 million voters, 30 of the seats in the Legislative Council are determined by a pool of just 239,724 people.


Hong Kong police clashed with a small group of protesters who tried to break into parliament early on November 19.

Protesters used metal barricades to break down a side door at the Legislative Council building (LegCo).

The incident happened hours after bailiffs and police peacefully cleared a section of the main protest camp.

Protesters calling for full democracy have occupied three key sites in Hong Kong for nearly eight weeks.

Dozens of young protesters, some wearing masks, tried smashing in the door shortly after 01:00 AM. Some reportedly managed to enter the building.

Riot police warned protesters to stay back, using red flags, and later used pepper spray to push them back.

There were repeated attempts by protesters to enter the building throughout the night, but they appeared to retreat by daylight.

Democratic lawmaker Fernando Cheung, who was among a group of people who tried to stop the protesters, told Reuters that it was “a very, very isolated incident” as the movement had been peaceful so far.

Student leader Lester Shum, from the Hong Kong Federation of Students, told AFP: “It’s not something we like to see… We call on occupiers to stick firm to peaceful and non-violent principles and be a responsible participant of the umbrella movement.”

The police said they arrested four people, while three officers were injured.

Some protesters said that they attempted the break-in because they were angry about the earlier clearance of part of the main protest site at Admiralty.

Tuesday’s clearance in front of Citic Tower came after the building’s owners were granted an injunction by the high court.

An injunction has also been granted for the clearance of roads at the Mong Kok protest site. The South China Morning Post says hundreds of police are on standby to clear that site as early as Thursday. A third protest site remains at Causeway Bay.

The protesters have been on the streets since early October to demonstrate against a decision by China to screen candidates for Hong Kong’s 2017 leadership election. Numbers were originally in the tens of thousands but have fallen to a few hundred.

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