(From AFP)

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp won a key by-election on Monday, with one young activist who advocates independence from China also taking tens of thousands of votes in closely-watched polls at a time of rising political tension.

Alvin Yeung

While it was a candidate from one of the established pro-democracy parties who won the election, the results showed growing support for the more radical “localist” movement, which advocates far greater autonomy from Beijing amid rising concerns over Chinese interference.

Student Edward Leung, 24, one of the leaders of localist group Hong Kong Indigenous, took more than 66,000 votes in the election held Sunday in New Territories East — far more than observers expected.

That secured him third place behind pro-Beijing candidate Holden Chow in second and Alvin Yeung of the established pro-democracy Civic Party who won the seat.

Yeung took 160,880 votes to Chow’s 150,329 in the by-election, triggered when a prominent pro-democracy politician stood down.

The seat in the mainly middle-class constituency in the north of Hong Kong is traditionally a democratic stronghold.

Leung’s slice of the vote was an indication of widening sympathy for localists, some of whom were involved in clashes with police earlier this month which left more than 100 injured. Read More

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