• By The Financial District

Beijing-Backed John Lee Wins As HK Leader With 99% Vote By Loyalist Panel

With no opponent, John Lee was elected as Hong Kong's next leader Sunday, winning more than 99% of votes cast by a largely pro-Beijing election committee, Mainichi Japan reported.

Photo Insert: John Lee emerged victorious as Hong Kong's next leader against no opponent.

Lee received 1,416 votes in the chief executive election, far exceeding the 751 votes he needed to win and the highest support ever for the city's top leadership position. The Election Committee's nearly 1,500 members cast their votes in a not-so-secret ballot Sunday morning.

"I look forward to all of us starting a new chapter together, building a Hong Kong that is caring, open and vibrant, and a Hong Kong that is full of opportunities and harmony," Lee said in his victory speech. Lee will replace current leader Carrie Lam on July 1, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

As the only candidate in the polls, Lee was widely expected to win, especially since he had Beijing's endorsement and last month obtained 786 nominations from members of the Election Committee in support of his candidacy.

Lam congratulated Lee in a statement and said she would submit the election results to Beijing.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

"The present-term government and I will ensure a seamless transition with the Chief Executive-elect. We will render all the support needed for the assumption of office by the new term of government," Lam's statement said.

The election followed major changes to Hong Kong's electoral laws last year to ensure that only "patriots" loyal to Beijing can hold office. The legislature was also reorganized to all but eliminate opposition voices.

Government & politics: Politicians, government officials and delegates standing in front of their country flags in a political event in the financial district.

The elaborate arrangements surrounding the pre-determined outcome speak to Beijing's desire for a veneer of democracy. Though they voted in a secret ballot, Hong Kong's electors were all carefully vetted.

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