Carrie Lam will become Hong Kong's fourth Chief Executive after winning over 777 members of the 1,194-strong Election Committee in Sunday’s poll. That's 88 more than incumbent CY Leung’s 689 votes five years ago.
Her main rival, former Financial Secretary John Tsang, only managed to secure 365 votes, while retired judge Woo Kwok-hing won 21.
A number of ballots were declared invalid and several pan-democrats said they couldn't bring themselves to choose any of the three candidates.
Lam’s victory, after just one round of voting, was widely expected after all the signs from across the border pointed to her having secured the backing of Beijing early on in the race.
But Tsang enjoyed far more support among the public and took votes from many of the more than 300 pan-democratic members of the Election Committee.
They have dubbed Lam “CY Leung 2:0”, forcing her during the election campaign period to insist that she is different from the territory’s current leader and will not simply follow in his footsteps.
On an RTHK programme, former Democratic Party legislator Emily Lau said the public were disgusted by the apparent meddling by Beijing in the election, alleging that Election Committee members were strong-armed into voting for Lam.
Lau cited reports that a number of senior government officials would resign in the event of a Lam victory and said the CE-elect now has to come out and demonstrate that she is somebody they can work with.
Lau said if Lam failed, Hong Kong could expect to see further mass demonstrations, which would not please Beijing on the approaching 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.
DAB Chairwoman Starry Lee congratulated Lam on her victory, saying she hoped Lam would continue to communicate with different sectors of society.
She said she hoped Lam could form a team around her which shares the same visions for Hong Kong. But Lee said it was too soon to say whether the DAB would figure in Lam’s administration.
Election day itself was greeted by protests, with pan-democrats rejecting the poll as a farce. A large banner, similar to those seen during the 2014 Occupy protests, was unfurled on Lion Rock calling for genuine universal suffrage.
Sunday's election would have been the first time the public had a vote to choose the territory's leader, if the government's political reform package had not been voted down by the Legislative Council in 2015.
Pan-democrats said the proposals, based on a framework set out by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, amounted to "fake" democracy, with Beijing having the power to screen out candidates at will.
Carrie Lam wins CE race with 777 votes
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