Amid protests and poor weather, a tiny election committee drawn mostly from Hong Kong's elite has chosen the city's next leader.
Carrie Lam was selected to be the fourth Hong Kong chief executive, with 777 votes from the 1,194-person committee. A total of 1,163 valid votes were cast.
A former chief secretary and deputy to current Chief Executive CY Leung, Lam will be the first female leader in the city's history.
Pro-democracy members on the committee, around 25% of the total, backed former Financial Secretary John Tsang, while a tiny minority of lawmakers who favor self-determination for Hong Kong spoiled their ballots in protest at the "small circle election."
Reforming the current political system was a key demand of the 2014 "Umbrella Movement," in which tens of thousands of protesters shut down parts of the city for 79 days but ultimately failed to gain any concessions from the government.Hong Kong's next chief executive Carrie Lam (center) stands with rivals John Tsang (left) and Woo Kwok-hing.Speaking to reporters after the result was announced, Lam thanked her rivals and members of the election committee "no matter who they voted for."
"The first thing I will do is to repair our divided society so we can move forward together," she said, adding that she would uphold "the values of our free society."
"The task in these five years is great," Lam said. "But I will work with everyone to make a better Hong Kong."
Eric Cheung, a professor at the University of Hong Kong, told CNN that Beijing's preference for Lam ahead of the vote was clear.
"It shows how ridiculous our system is," he said. "Opinion polls showed that John Tsang was more popular with the people ... but under our system, so long as the message is clear from Beijing, then the pro-establishment camp will (follow it)."(Source: BBC)