HK goes to polls in first vote since democracy protests

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HONG KONG: Hong Kong went to the polls Sunday for the first time since huge pro-democracy protests gripped the city, in a key test of public sentiment. The spotlight is on the district elections to gauge whether support for the democracy movement can translate into votes and bring change to the political landscape. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets for more than two months at the end of last year demanding fully free elections for the city’s next leader, in what became known as the “Umbrella Movement.” The rallies were sparked after Beijing insisted candidates for the first public vote for Hong Kong’s leader in 2017 would first have to be vetted by a loyalist committee.

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