Hong Kong by-elections start

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hong Kong's by-elections, triggered by the resignation of five legislators, Wong Yuk-man, Tanya Chan, Leung Kwok-hung, Albert Chan, and Alan Leong, will take place today. The five legislators left the Legislative Council earlier this year in protest of the government's indifference towards universal suffrage and the abolishment of functional constituencies.

The elections started at 07.30 local time (23.30 UTC) today, and are due to end at ten o'clock tonight. Results are expected to be released tomorrow morning.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang has decided not to vote. Financial Secretary John Tsang, who was in Shanghai, stated that "Donald Tsang will expound on his opinions".

Prominent politicians Leung Chun Ying and Anthony Cheung also refused to vote. The heads of the DAB and Liberal Party didn't cast their ballots either, the former going on a trip to avoid voting. Their abstention provoked the criticism of several pan-democrats, including Audrey Eu.

As of 18.00 today (10.00 UTC), 405880 voters have voted. The percentage of registered voters who voted is 12.03%; The highest is Kowloon West, with 14.9%, while New Territories West was the lowest, at 9.93%. Some members of the Pro-Beijing camp have also decided to vote for Pamela Pak, a Hong Kong radio celebrity. Wong Yuk-man says he does not mind, for even a vote for his major opponent means a rise in the number of voters.