Hong Kong, Nov. 24 (Reuters): Democrats in Hong Kong have dealt a blow to their pro-China opponents in local elections, sending a clear message to Beijing that the city’s people want the right to elect their own leaders.
The Democratic Party emerged as a winner in yesterday’s poll for district councils, which have little power beyond responsibility for grassroots issues such as garbage collection.
The main loser was the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), the most powerful pro-China party that emerged before Britain returned the city to China in 1997.
“This is a very serious defeat. It is the worst defeat we have suffered in any of the elections since the DAB was founded 11 years ago,” DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing told a local radio station.
Few analysts expect the push for a greater say in government to spread from Hong Kong to mainland China.
“The Democratic Party is a big winner. The people are giving the message they want more democratic reforms and they are punishing the Hong Kong government for not heeding their voice,” said Ivan Choy, a politics professor at City University.
China declined comment.