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    Mixed Victory in Elections for Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Groups


    by NTDTelevision

    21 out of 40 available seats in Hong Kong's Legislative Council election—it was less than Hong Kong's pro-democracy groups expected to win.

    Deep divisions across pan-democracy parties have been blamed for their failure to capitalize on the recent protests against pro-Beijing policies. Instead, parties like Beijing-friendly DAB, or Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, gained grounds.

    [Michael DeGolyer, Baptist University Political Science Professor]:
    "The key thing is that the DAB which is the core of the pro-government coalition group did very well. They have very good control of their voters, they ran their tickets very wisely, they allied with a couple of independents that they got in. Very good coordination. Whereas the democrats went after each other. Threw everything but the furniture at each other in some cases and ended up losing votes and seats."

    The 70 seat legislative council is responsible for passing policies, budgets and formulating legislation. Sunday's general election was for 40 seats, while the remaining 35 is chosen by special interest groups.

    The unexpectedly poor showing by the pro-democracy camp led veteran Albert Ho to quit as chairman of the Democratic Party on Monday.

    However, it still managed to gain a third of the available seats to give it a crucial veto bloc over future policies, including democratic reforms.

    [Michael DeGolyer, Baptist University Political Science Professor]:
    "So for the first time we have a very clear legislative division. And we have a government that is extremely weak and I think it's going to be forced to go populist."

    The elections came a day after Hong Kong's Beijing-backed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying backed down from a controversial national education course. Protests against the course drew voters out in force. More than half of the 3.4 million registered voters cast ballots, up from 45.2 percent in the last poll in 2008.

    Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy. Residents there have balked at attempts by the Chinese regime to influence the region's politics, media and education, 15 years after the British colony reverted to Chinese rule.

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