Hong Kong counts votes from first major elections since protests

    Hong Kong counts votes from first major elections since protests

    Sept.5, Beijing: Votes are still being counted in Hong Kong after its first major election since the 2014 pro-democracy protests.

    The announcement of full results was delayed by several hours because of the highest turnout since the handover to China in 1997. But with some results coming in it looks as if pro-democracy groups could retain their one-third hold of seats, enabling them to veto bills, reports said.

    Some 58% of 3.8 million voters turned out, compared with 45.2% in 2008.

    According to reports, the main parties competing are divided by their stances on the territory's relationship with Beijing. The new generation of activists who want self-determination for Hong Kong also look set to win seats.

    Candidates are competing for 70 seats on the Legislative Council, known as LegCo, which passes laws and budgets in the territory.
    But only 35 constituency seats are directly elected by the population.

    Another 30 seats represent particular professions or trades and can only be voted for people connected to the trade, just 6% of the population. A further five "super seats" are chosen by voters across the territory.

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

    The Oslo Times International News Network