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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

China - December 2023

Hong Kong’s local district election results in record low voter turnout

On 10 December, Hong Kong held its first district council elections since undergoing an electoral overhaul guided by Beijing earlier this year. The overhaul effectively excluded pro-democracy candidates and screened candidates based on the criterion of “patriotism.” Simultaneously, the number of seats democratically chosen by the public was reduced from 452 to 88. The local election resulted in an unprecedented low voter turnout of 27.5 per cent, in stark contrast to the 71.2 per cent turnout in the previous district election held in 2019, which saw opposition candidates winning by a landslide. The majority of seats this year were won by candidates aligned with pro-Beijing interests. Foreign observers and the European parliament characterized the election as “neither free nor fair” due to the exclusion of opposition representation.

Sources: Financial Times, Associated Press, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Free Press

Primary categories and factors
Representation -1 Representation  (-1)
Free Political Parties
Local Democracy

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