Hong Kong: Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens have queued to cast ballots over the weekend in what the Chinese-ruled city’s opposition camp says is a symbolic protest vote against tough national security laws directly imposed by Beijing.
The unofficial poll will decide the strongest pro-democracy candidates to contest Legislative Council elections in September, when they aim to ride a wave of anti-China sentiment stirred by the law to seize control for the first time from pro-Beijing rivals.
While the primaries are only for the opposition camp, observers are watching closely as they say the turnout will serve as a test of a broader opposition to the law, which critics say will gravely undermine the city’s freedoms.
“A high turnout will send a very strong signal to the international community, that we Hong Kongers never give up,” said Sunny Cheung, 24, one of a batch of aspiring young democrats out lobbying and giving stump speeches.
“And that we still stand with the democratic camp, we still support democracy and freedom.”