Pro-democracy movement takes lead in Hong Kong elections
(Vatican Radio) Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement has taken a narrow lead against
groups allied with China's Communist Party, after a legislative election there Sunday.
But the gain is not as strong as some expected. Alastair Wanklyn is following events
from Tokyo. Listen:
a strong turnout—up 17 percent on the last one—in a poll seen as a test of support
for Beijing's one-party system.
Its opponents gained an early lead but a thin
one—disappointing,said one lawmaker from that bloc. Observers said splits within the
pro-democracy camp weakened its showing against Beijing loyalists.
expected pro-democracy candidates to do well, thanks to recent public outrage at proposals
by Beijing that Hong Kong schoolchildren take mandatory classes in patriotism, which
would teach among other things that a one-party system is best.
criticized that as brainwashing, and hours before the polls opened authorities backed
down saying the classes would now be only voluntary.
The standoff compounded
ongoing resentment in Hong Kong at economic migrants from mainland China, whom residents
accuse of filling Hong Kong hospitals and pushing up property prices.
attention turns to Beijing's own leadership shake-up, expected this autumn. It doesn't
hold elections but reports say there's factional fighting within the Communist Party
over whether reformers or conservatives should get leadership posts.