Voter turnout plunges below 30pc in Hong Kong election after rules shut out pro-democracy candidates


AP :
Voter turnout plunged below 30% in Hong Kong’s first district council elections since new rules introduced under Beijing’s guidance effectively shut out all pro-democracy candidates, setting a record low since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

According to official data on Monday, 27.5% of the city’s 4.3 million registered voters cast ballots in Sunday’s polls – significantly less than the record 71.2% who participated in the last elections held at the height of anti-government protests in 2019. The pro-democracy camp won those polls in a landslide victory, in a clear rebuke of the government’s handling of the protests.

Beijing loyalists are expected to take control of the district councils after Sunday’s elections, with results showing big pro-government parties winning most directly elected seats.


“The newly elected district councilors come from diverse backgrounds,” Hong Kong leader John Lee said.

“They will make the work in the districts more multidimensional … better aligning with the interests of the citizens.”

The district councils, which primarily handle municipal matters such as organizing construction projects and public facilities, were Hong Kong’s last major political bodies mostly chosen by the public.