Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) today won Hong Kong’s chief executive election, becoming the city's first female leader.

Lam is seen as Beijing’s preferred candidate for the role and was widely expected to win the selection process.

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Lam won with 777 votes from a selection committee of 1,194 members, the Hong Kong government confirmed this afternoon. She was followed by John Tsang (曾俊華), the popular candidate among Hong Kong's pro-democracy groups, with 365 votes and Woo Kwok-hing (胡國興) with 21.

The chief executive term is for five years.

Outgoing Chief Executive CY Leung (梁振英) congratulated Lam.

“The present-term government and I will ensure a seamless transition with the Chief Executive-elect. We will fully support the preparation for forming the new term of government,” Leung said.

To win, candidates needed to reach a threshold of 601 votes from an election committee.

Hong Kong political analyst Suzanne Pepper last week told The News Lens she expected Lam would likely focus her leadership on safe “housekeeping issues,” rather than tackle the controversial constitutional and democratic problems facing Hong Kong.

The selection of Hong Kong’s leader is criticized for being an undemocratic process. The chief executive is selected by a selection committee, which in turn is based on people selected among occupation-based “functional consistency” categories, rather than a general election. There have been public protests in Hong Kong today.

As Pepper wrote recently, the convoluted process sees Hong Kong voters essentially "rubber-stamping" officially approved candidates.

”The design of the election committee selection process," Pepper says, was “intended to guarantee safe pro-establishment majorities for any decision it is authorized to make and it has so far never failed to perform as intended.”

Editor: Olivia Yang