Several pro-independence candidates won seats in Hong Kong's legislative council election on Sunday, Reuters reported citing early results, underscoring divisions in the city amid tensions with Beijing.
Full results are expected later Monday but Reuters reported at 9:45 a.m. London time that the pro-democracy camp retained its one-third veto bloc.
It was the first major election since the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014, and the most contentious. Up for grabs were 70 legislative council seats, with some pro-democracy candidates disqualified from running in the election by the Beijing-aligned Hong Kong government.
Polls were supposed to close at 10.30 p.m. SIN/HK, but the record 2.2 million turnout meant that the last vote was only cast after 2 a.m.
Beijing's influence on the city, as the mainland government turns its screws on political and civil liberties in Hong Kong, is thought to have spurred many voters.
It comes against the backdrop of an economic slowdown in Hong Kong and China, as the mainland undergoes a transition itself from its traditional manufacturing base to a more service-led economy. This has sparked disenchantment among many of the Hong Kong's residents, who feel disenfranchised from the business and political elite.