No surprise: Beijing’s pick Lam chosen as Hong Kong leader


HONG KONG (AP) —A Hong Kong committee has chosen the government’s former No. 2 official Carrie Lam to be the semiautonomous Chinese city’s next leader.

The 1,194-member election committee picked Lam to be Hong Kong’s new chief executive on Sunday. She will be the first female leader for the city and its fourth since British colonial control ended.

Her victory was no surprise because China’s communist leadership had lobbied the committee, dominated by pro-Beijing elites, to support her.

Pro-democracy activists have criticized the system as a “fake” election and it was at the root of huge protests in 2014.

Lam won with 777 votes while her closest rival, former financial secretary John Tsang, got 365 votes. Retired judge Woo Kwok-hing had 21 votes.

Tsang was much more popular locally, but neither he nor Woo had Beijing’s backing.