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Hong Kong: first local elections reserved for

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Police closely monitored local elections on Sunday in Hong Kong.

Agence France-Presse

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate text spoken from a written text.

Hong Kongers voted until midnight on Sunday in the first local elections reserved for “patriotic” candidates and from which the opposition was excluded after a campaign of repression on grounds of national security.

Half a dozen people were arrested on the sidelines of the vote, which, unusually, was extended by an hour and a half. Electoral Affairs Commission Chairman David Lo cited a failure in the digital system used to confirm voters' eligibility and issue ballots, denying that turnout determined the extension.

The authorities tried to galvanize the electorate and covered the southern Chinese metropolis with posters to encourage its residents to go to the polls to elect councilors for the city's 18 districts.

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Authorities have covered the southern Chinese metropolis with posters to encourage its residents to go to the polls.

The previous election was held at the height of the huge and sometimes violent protests of 2019. The record turnout of 71% led to a landslide victory for the pro-democracy camp.

It is the patriots who must rule Hong Kong, it&#x27 ;is our principle. The vote will not be affected, just because a few [candidates] cannot be part of it.

A quote from Mr. Lee, a civil engineer who came to participate in the vote

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Under new rules announced in May, the number of seats subject to direct voting was reduced from 462 to 88.

The other 382 seats are controlled by the leader of the Chinese special administrative region, people loyal to the government and landowners.

Candidates were required to seek nominations from three committees appointed by the government, effectively excluding all pro-democracy parties.

According to Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee, this election is the final piece of the puzzle for implementing the principle of patriots in power in Hong Kong, referring to a doctrine imposed by Beijing, since the 2019 protests, aimed at eliminating any dissenting voice from the public service.

< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">From now on, district councils will no longer be what they once were, that is, platforms to destroy and reject government administration, to promote ;independence of Hong Kong and endangering national security.

A quote from Mr. Lee, a civil engineer who came to vote

Councilors in Hong Kong's 18 districts mainly deal with local issues, such as sanitation, transport routes or the adequacy of public facilities.

But after Sunday's election, they will behave like local advisory bodies and a government echo chamber, in practical, Kenneth Chan, a political scientist at Hong Kong Baptist University, told AFP.

It's all about achieving 100% political control, he added.

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Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee went to the polls on Sunday.

For Erick Tsang, Minister of Constitutional Affairs overseeing elections, turnout cannot be an indicator of the success of the [new] system.

However, some voters did not hide their disinterest on the eve of the election.

What is the point of voting? The political climate is one-sided, argued a resident named Ng.

More than 12,000 police officers were deployed to prevent any disruption of the vote, according to local media. Six people were arrested on Sunday.

The League of Social Democrats, one of the last opposition groups that planned to demonstrate against the vote, reported the arrest of three of its members.

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Hong Kong police carried out arrests on the sidelines of local elections on Sunday.

Police initially accused the trio of attempted #x27;instigation to disrupt district council elections, before transferring them to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on suspicion of inciting people not to vote.

The League considered it extremely ironic and ridiculous to arrest these three people on an election day supposed to reflect diverse public opinions.

The ICAC, for its part, indicated that it had arrested a couple and a woman for having republished or commented on messages on social networks inciting the population to slip invalid ballots into the ballot boxes.

On Friday, the national security police arrested a 77-year-old man for attempting to commit seditious acts.

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