In Hong Kong Elections, Big Defeat For Elites Pressures Beijing To Rethink Approach

In FOREIGN RELATIONS, Voting On

HONG KONG — Election posters promoting the candidate for Mongkok North left no doubt about his affiliations: wearing all black clothing, a yellow hard hat, respirator and goggles, he was firmly aligned with protesters seeking full democracy.

“Five demands, not one less,” read the banner, the mantra of the grass-roots uprising countering China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong.

In defeating the incumbent establishment candidate, Lucifer Siu contributed to a landslide win for the democracy camp in Hong Kong’s district council elections. A similar story unfolded citywide: A 23-year-old graduate beat a three-time incumbent in an establishment stronghold; a 25-year-old who crowdfunded his campaign ousted the vice-chairman of the main pro-Beijing party.

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