CHINA> Taiwan, HK, Macao
DAB retains top spot in HK election
By Max Kong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-09-09 08:40

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) emerged as the biggest winner in Sunday's Legislative Council election in Hong Kong.

Winning 10 of the 60 seats up for grabs, the party remains the biggest political party in the legislature, while the Democratic Party finished second with eight seats.

Liberal Party chairman James Tien and vice-chair Selina Chow resigned after the election, although the party held on to seven seats. The Civic Party became the fourth largest party with five seats.

Overall, the pro-government camp secured 34 seats, 11 more than the opposition's 23, while the remaining three were won by non-affiliated candidates.

Ten incumbent legislators failed to get reelected.

The DAB's 10 seats comprised seven in geographical constituencies and three in functional constituencies. If members contesting seats under the name of the Hong Kong Federation of Trades Unions are taken into account, the DAB won 13 seats, of which nine are geographical constituencies.

The DAB's Lau Kong-wah, who ran in New Territories East, got the highest number of votes, with more than 100,000.

The 60 newly elected councilors - 30 returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections and 30 by functional constituencies - will form the fourth term Legislative Council and start exercising their duty entrusted by the Basic Law for four years from Oct 1.

In the elections, 142 candidates ran for 30 seats in five geographical constituencies using proportional representation, while 45 others competed for 16 seats in 16 contested functional constituencies. Fourteen candidates in 12 functional constituencies returned uncontested.

Altogether, 532 polling stations across Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories were open for more than 1.52 million voters to cast their ballots in the direct elections for geographical constituencies with a turnout rate of about 45.2 percent, down from 55.6 percent from the previous elections, the Electoral Affairs Commission said.

Meanwhile, 127,000 voters cast their ballots in the elections of 16 contested functional constituencies, with a turnout rate of 60.3 percent, also down from 70.1 percent.

The Electoral Affairs Commission began publishing results at 5:30 am Monday.

After visiting a polling station at Happy Valley on Sunday night, Chief Executive Donald Tsang said the elections were proceeding in a fair, open and just way.

"We look forward to working with the new Legislative Council to face up the economic slowdown for Hong Kong people," he said.

Xinhua contributed to the story