HK set for overwhelmingly pro-Beijing election

The nomination period for next month's Legislative Council election in Hong Kong ended on Friday with 154 people running for 90 seats. It will be almost entirely a contest among pro-Beijing candidates.

The vote will take place on December 19. Pro-democracy parties did not run due to a Beijing-led review of the territory's electoral system earlier this year.

A new rule requires candidates to be nominated by members of the election committee, which is predominantly pro-Beijing. They must also be deemed patriots by a new vetting committee.

Hong Kong media say a little over 10 of the 154 candidates describe themselves as not pro-Beijing.
Observers say the territory's government is apparently trying to show that the new election system does not exclude such contenders by allowing them to run.

Only 20 of the 90 seats will be decided by voters. The remaining 70 will be chosen by pro-government companies and organizations, as well as the election committee.

There are growing expectations that voter turnout will fall significantly due to a lack of interest in the election.