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Divided democrats dealt blow in Hong Kong polls

Published on Sep 10, 2012 3:04 PM
Frederick Fung, (center), talks next to Albert Ho, (centre right), and James To, (second right), from the pro-democratic camp as they meet journalists at the central ballot counting centre after winning in the territory-wide poll of the Legislative Council election in Hong Kong on Sept 10, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (AFP) - The leader of Hong Kong's Democratic Party resigned on Monday after the party performed poorly in weekend legislative elections, despite a high turnout and strong support for full democracy.

The results give the pro-democracy camp the "critical minority" it needs to veto constitutional amendments ahead of a key debate about universal suffrage in the coming four-year term of the legislature.

But official results showed the best-known pro-democracy party won only four seats, down from eight, in the new 70-seat assembly, prompting chairman Albert Ho to offer an emotional apology to the party faithful.

"For the serious failure in this election I have to accept full political responsibility as the chairman of the Democratic Party," Mr Ho said after bowing before the television cameras at a press conference. He attributed the party's poor performance in Sunday's vote to a split in the democratic camp and the popularity of radical candidates, not to a fall in support for democracy.

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