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Pro-democracy parties triumph in key Hong Kong elections

Local residents celebrate outside a polling station as Junius Ho Kwan-yiu loses in District Council Elections on November 25, 2019 in Hong Kong
Local residents celebrate outside a polling station as Junius Ho Kwan-yiu loses in the district council election on Nov. 25. Photo: Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said in a statement Monday her government will "listen" and "reflect" after pro-democracy parties swept pro-Beijing parties aside to triumph in the district council elections amid a record voter turnout.

Why it matters: The results show that many Hong Kong citizens back the pro-democracy protest movement. It's also a stinging rebuke for Lam and the Chinese government, both of whom have denounced activists and their acts of civil disobedience that have forced schools to close, caused transport chaos and disrupted business in the Asian financial hub.

By the numbers: 4.1 million Hong Kongers registered to vote in the elections — "more than half the population of 7.4 million," the BBC notes.

  • Turnout reached 2.94 million — more than 71% of eligible voters.
  • Wu Chi-wai, leader of the Democratic Party, the city's largest pro-democracy bloc, cited official results saying it won 90% of 452 seats that would "help it take unprecedented control of 17 out of 18 district councils," AP reports.
  • Pro-democracy parties won 278 seats to be declared, while pro-Beijing candidates claimed 42 and independents 24, per results cited by the South China Morning Post.

What they're saying: "The high turnout rate did benefit the pro-democracy camp,” South Horizons West seat Kelvin Lam told the SCMP. "The result is like a referendum of the current administration, like a confidence vote."

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.