Pro-Beijing John Lee Elected Hong Kong’s Chief Executive

John Lee waves after he was elected as Hong Kong's chief executive, in Hong Kong, May 8 [Lam Yik/ Reuters]

John Lee’s election as Hong Kong’s chief executive places a security official in the top job for the first time.

John Lee clinched 1,416 votes of approval from the 1,500-strong Election Committee on Sunday. Eight voted against him.

In his election campaign Lee pledged to enact more national security laws for Hong Kong and promised to increase the housing supply in the world’s most expensive real estate market.

He also said he would improve the city’s competitiveness and set a firm foundation for Hong Kong’s development.

The former secretary for security in HK ran under the slogan “Starting a new chapter for Hong Kong together” and was the sole candidate in the polls.

Beijing hailed the near-unanimous result on Sunday saying it showed “Hong Kong society has a high level of recognition and approval” for Lee.

“This is a real demonstration of democratic spirit,” the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said in a statement.

Sunday’s vote followed major changes to Hong Kong’s electoral laws last year to ensure that only “patriots” loyal to Beijing can hold office. The legislature was meanwhile reorganised to all but eliminate opposition voices.

Hong Kong is a city of 7.4 million residents. The former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Lee will replace current leader Carrie Lam on July 1.


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