Hong Kong formally confirmed John Lee as its next top leader after an uncontested election, solidifying an era of more direct Chinese political control over the once-freewheeling financial hub.
Lee won 1,416 of the 1,424 valid votes on Sunday, according to the returning officer at the election venue, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. That is more than the simple majority needed to confirm his appointment. Counting was completed in less than an hour, with almost 98% turnout. Eight electors voted against him, while four ballots were declared invalid.
Lee, 64, who earlier served as chief secretary for administration, the city’s No. 2 position, will start his five-year term as Chief Executive on July 1, succeeding Carrie Lam. He was the only candidate put forward to an election committee revamped by Beijing in 2021 to stack more pro-establishment members.