Hong Kong voters turned out in record numbers this week and trounced the pro-Beijing party in local elections. The opposition Democrats picked up more than a dozen local council seats, the worst defeat for the government since Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997. Pro-democracy activists said the victory showed that their “people power” movement, which brought half a million people into the streets in July, was still alive. Many Hong Kong residents say their Beijing-appointed chief executive, Tung Chee-ha, is moving far too slowly in bringing about full electoral democracy. Under the constitution negotiated for Hong Kong before the 1997 handover, full democracy is set out as a goal, but there is no deadline.
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