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Major Election in Hong Kong With Calls for Independence

  • VOA News

Supporters of Radical localist group Youngspiration's candidate Baggio Leung shout slogans near a polling station for the legislative council election, Sept. 4, 2016.

Supporters of Radical localist group Youngspiration's candidate Baggio Leung shout slogans near a polling station for the legislative council election, Sept. 4, 2016.

Hong Kong voted in its first major elections Sunday since the mass pro-democracy protests in 2014, with calls for independence and anti-China sentiment running high among some groups of younger voters.

Voters chose members for the territory's 70-seat Legislative Council, in which the pro-democracy opposition is hoping to maintain at least one third of the seats to have veto power to block the pro-Beijing government attempts to enact unpopular legislation.

WATCH: Hong Kong Elections

A small group of protesters demanded the resignation of Beijing-backed leader, Leung Chun-ying, outside the polling station where he voted, while some others expressed their intention to just keep his government in check.

Turnout was reported to be above average and election results are expected early Monday.

Most established pro-democracy politicians do not support the notion of independence and may lose seats to voters who support more radical new groups.

“Pan-democrat” lawmakers currently control 27 of 70 seats, compared with 43 held by lawmakers friendly to Beijing.

Hong Kong has been the scene of increasingly bitter political turmoil since the last legislative election in 2012 that led to pro-democracy protests in 2014.

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