'We will continue to fight': Hong Kongers react to record turnout in local body elections
Updated: Nov 25, 2019, 07:24 PM(IST)
Here are comments from voters, politicians, activists and academics on Hong Kong's district council elections, where pro-democracy candidates romped to a landslide and symbolic majority after residents turned out to vote in record numbers on Sunday.
"It's a resounding victory (for the democrats). The government and the pro-Beijing camp have always claimed they have public support. But now this is a big slap in the face because the public has showed their real position in record numbers, said Ma Ngok, Political Scientist at Chinese University.
"Nobody could have predicted the turnout...Most people think the extra one million voters came out to send a political message to the government, that they still support the protesters and they’re dissatisfied with the government," he added.
'Must find other paths of struggle to keep fighting'
"I believe this result is because there are a lot of voters who hope to use this election and their vote to show their support for the (protest) movement, and their five demands, and their dissatisfaction with the Hong Kong government, said Lester Shum, Former HK Student Leader who was elected.
"That's why so many people queued for one or two hours, no matter man or woman, young or old, they came out to vote. The district council is just one very important path of struggle. In future, we must find other paths of struggle to keep fighting."
'Clearly reflects people's views and political leanings'
"Under the current political environment, a district council election that has come close to a universal suffrage situation clearly reflects people's views and political leanings," said Andrew Chiu, Winning Democrat
'Today is only a small win in the movement'
"I see this election as part of the anti-extradition movement," said Ted Hui, Democratic lawmaker who was re-elected, referring to a now-scrapped bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to mainland China for trial.
"Today is only a small win in the ... movement. I want to dedicate all the effort and glory to the frontliners and everyone who has participated in the movement."
'Have to be leaders who listen to people'
"We have to be leaders of the community that listens to people's voices and opinions. We also have to solve the community problem and perform better than the pro-establishment camp," Jimmy Sham of Civil Human Rights Front, who won his seat.
'Hong Kong people will continue to fight'
"I let you all down today ... but Hong Kong people will continue to fight. I hope everyone will give a big applause to the history we have created today, said Democracy Candidate Leung Kwok-hung, who lost.
"Most of the pro-establishment lawmakers have lost in this district council election. It shows the government today has zero acceptance ... I urge Carrie Lam to respond to people's demands ... If I was her, I would prepare a resignation now."
'High turnout makes me fail'
"Our loss is not because of our work in the local districts, it’s because of the political sentiment ... I have 500 more votes this time (than four years ago), but the high turnout makes me fail. That’s the reality," Horace Cheung, a pro Beijing Lawmaker who lost.
'We don't want to mess up Hong Kong again'
"Today's result is the voters' decision. We respect it. But, what we really want is that we finally find peace ... We don't want to mess up Hong Kong again," said Alice Mak, pro establishment Lawmaker, who lost.
'Never happened in history'
"Most people have already considered it is a referendum. We see that the pro-democracy camp mobilised people based on 'police brutality' and 'bad governance', while the pro-establishment camp views this election as 'saying no to violence," said Ivan Choy, Senior lecturer on Electoral Politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
"As it is considered as a referendum, the turnout rate is a record high and the democratic camp scores a landslide victory - that has never happened in history. These two indicators are of utmost importance. It will let the international society be witness. Their support to Hong Kong democracy may be further assured, which embarrasses Beijing.
"The next move of the Hong Kong situation will be determined by responses from the Hong Kong government and Beijing after this election."