The latest elections for the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, which passes policies, budgets and formulates laws, have seen Pro-Democratic parties edged out slightly by their pro-Beijing rivals. But they achieved a narrow victory in managing to hold onto their power of veto over any constitutional changes. The polls are an indicator of the former British colony's desire for reform and voters' discontent with their Beijing-backed leader, C Y Leung.
It was a rough ride for the biggest party wanting change: the Democratic Party saw a heavy loss and – even though party leader, Albert Ho was re-elected as chairman - his team-mates were rocked by his immediate decision to quit. Leader, C Y Leung, has been unpopular of late and, a day before the elections, he did a U-turn over his plans - backed by Beijing - for patriotic education in school. For the first time, 40 of the 70 seats on Hong Kong's governing legislative council were directly elected. Under the current laws, the rest were chosen by small groups of electors selected along economic and professional lines.
A professor in Political Science gave his views on the way forward for the government: Michael de Golyer, Political Science Professor, Baptist University, says: “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. It's going to be forced to, no longer can business simply assume that it's running the government, dominating the government, and that Hong Kong is being run by and for business. They are now going to have to fight and negotiate and I think the government is going to be leaning more towards populist measures simply to try and put a coalition together, because it certainly doesn't have one at the moment."
Despite voter turnout among the 3-and-a-half million electorate being 50% up the 2008 poll, it wasn’t enough for Independent candidate, Pamela Peck. She ran as a protest vote, wanting people to side with her, if they were dissatisfied with the other parties. But she took a side swipe at voters, saying not enough voted for her and that maybe the general public should watch more elections.
Written and presented by Marverine Cole.