China

Hong Kong election: Who are the new faces in politics?

Nathan Law, 23, a leader of the 2014 pro-democracy rallies, campaigns for his political party Demosisto party during the Legislative Council election in Hong Kong on September 4, 2016. Image copyright AFP
Image caption Nathan Law will be the youngest lawmaker in LegCo

Hong Kong's legislative chamber (LegCo) will be welcoming a new breed of young pro-democracy faces. They all advocate greater independence or Hong Kong's right to self-determination with varying degrees of radicalism. Some of the most strident activists, however, were controversially banned from running in Sunday's election.

Nathan Law is the most high-profile of the pro-democracy names to win a seat - and will become the youngest lawmaker in Hong Kong.

The 23-year-old student activist and former Occupy protest leader is a co-founder of the Demosisto political party, which calls for HK's right to self-determination.

Convicted for his role in civil disobedience during the so-called "umbrella" protests in 2014, the soft-spoken activist has said the former British colony must be allowed a referendum on its future. He has said he does not want Hong Kong to become "just another Chinese city".

Sixtus "Baggio" Leung, 30, is a candidate for the new Youngspiration party and is known to have openly supported independence.

Image copyright Reuters

Youngspiration has a so-called "localist" platform; defiantly pro-Hong Kong and against immigrants and tourists from China.

Among its policies is even the proposal that Hong Kong must seek independent water and food supplies to reduce dependency on mainland China.

Yau Wai-ching is also with Youngspiration - the 25-year-old emerged as a shock winner, edging out a veteran pro-democracy lawmaker.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Yau Wai-ching says Hong Kong has the right to discuss its sovereignty

One of the more prominent members of Youngspiration, she ran in local district council elections last November, just one year after the umbrella movement in Hong Kong inspired her to enter politics and to campaign for Hong Kong's independence.

A Chinese history and martial arts literature enthusiast, Ms Yau has spoken openly of her scepticism about the idea of a Chinese nation.

Chu Hoi-dick, 38, was one of the surprise winners of the night. Despite being an independent candidate, he won a landslide victory.

The social activist argues that independence from China should be an option for people in Hong Kong.

"The result shows that Hong Kong people believe we need a paradigm shift in the democratic movement," he said, adding: "We should no longer follow strictly to the Basic Law [Hong Kong's mini-constitution]."

Image copyright AP

Lau Siu-lai, 40,is a former Occupy protester and university lecturer who is seen as a more moderate democrat and was the prime vote winner for the democracy camp in her constituency.

She made a name for herself through the campaign with her strong performance in radio and TV debates.

She has said that full independence is an unrealistic objective for Hong Kong, but that Hong Kong should enjoy a very high degree of autonomy.

Image copyright EPA

Cheng Chung-tai, 33, is a member of one of the most radical localist groups, Civic Passion.

Image copyright AFP

A fellow at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he won a seat in the legislature. He openly supports independence for Hong Kong and has expressed concern about protecting the territory's unique language and culture.

He has not avoided controversy. One example was when the families of some students at his university reportedly accused him of inciting civil disobedience. However, he has consistently said that he believes Hong Kongers should take an active stance for the sake of the city.

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