Hong Kong's elections yesterday saw several pro-independence candidates winning legislative seats, including Nathan Law (羅冠聰), the youngest elected legislator in the territory's history and one of the leaders of the 2014 protests that led to the Umbrella Movement.

Law, 23, told Al Jazeera after his victory that he believes “the people of Hong Kong were looking for a new voice in the electoral system who can uphold the different voices of the democratic movement.”

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“We need to have steady political influence on the society,” Law said. “That is why we needed to involve ourselves in politics.”

He also mentioned that Beijing seems “worried about” the election results and that Hong Kong has “a new voice of resistance.”


Photo Credit: Bobby Yip / REUTERS / 達志影像

According to state-run Xinhua, China “has underscored its ‘resolute opposition’ against any form of ‘Hong Kong independence’ activities inside or outside of the special administrative region's (SAR) Legislative Council (LegCo).”

A statement by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council yesterday restated that Hong Kong independence is “a threat to China's sovereignty and security” and is “counter to the fundamental interests of Hong Kong citizens,” Xinhua reported.

"We firmly support the Hong Kong SAR government to mete out penalties according to law," it said.

A report by Reuters also revealed that Chinese enterprises in Hong Kong were “instructing staff how to vote” before the elections, with employees asked to “vote for patriotic candidates who ‘love China and love Hong Kong.’”

Pro-democracy candidates have won 19 of the 35 directly elected legislative seats, with pro-Beijing parties securing 16 members. Three of the 19 pro-democratic seats have gone to localists.

The elections also saw a record-breaking turnout of about 58 percent of Hong Kong’s 3.8 million registered voters.

The term of the newly-elected LegCo members will begin on Oct. 1.

Edited by J. Michael Cole