00:40 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Pro-democratic lawmakers talk to the media after meeting with protesters at the Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China November 25, 2019.

    UK Foreign Secretary Sees Hong Kong Elections as Chance to Overcome Political Crisis

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab believes that the elections held in Hong Kong over the weekend will provide Hongkongers with the opportunity to overcome the political crisis in their city.

    "There is now an opportunity to find a way through the crisis with political dialogue that reflects the legitimate aspirations of the people of Hong Kong and respects the one country two systems model," Raab said in a statement.

    On Sunday, after months of anti-government rallies, Hong Kong held direct elections to the councils of 18 urban districts — the councils deal with local issues, such as transportation and utilities — with a total of 452 seats at stake. With 98 per cent of the votes counted, supporters of the opposition got an absolute majority of 344 seats, while the pro-government bloc secured only 58 seats, and independent candidates got 41 seats. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said she and the rest of her government respect these results. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang has, meanwhile, reiterated the central government's full support of Lam.

    Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks attend an anti-government demonstration in Hong Kong, China, November 5, 2019
    © REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
    Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks attend an anti-government demonstration in Hong Kong, China, November 5, 2019

    Sunday’s elections are considered to be a test of support for both the local pro-establishment authorities and the so-called pro-democracy lawmakers after six months of protests. On the eve of the vote, instead of arranging new weekend protests, activists urged their supporters to go to the polls and vote for pro-democracy candidates.

    Hong Kong has been facing waves of rallies since June. The protests eventually escalated into violent confrontations between demonstrators and the police. Beijing views the situation in Hong Kong as a direct result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs.

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    Dominic Raab, elections, Hong Kong
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