Hong Kong pro-democracy primary continues

Hong Kong people line up to vote in a primary for pro-democracy candidates.
Hong Kong people line up to vote in a primary for pro-democracy candidates.

Day two of Hong Kong's primary elections to select pro-democracy candidates has got under way, with even more drawn to polling stations after a massive turn-out on day one of voting.

Hundreds of thousands of registered voters braved heat and social distancing measures - which are back in place after a surge in new cases of imported and local Covid-19 - to cast their ballot on Sunday.

The Democratic camp hopes to ultimately gain a majority in September's Legislative Council election, for which the grouping needs to take 35 or more seats out of 70.

Such a move would give them more power to veto pro-establishment legislation.

The elections come a fortnight after Beijing imposed a new national security law on the territory, targeting acts of independence, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Votes counted on the first day of the election reached 228,983, while by midday Sunday, that number had shot up to 318,000 electronic votes and 10,000 paper votes.

"Democracy is not a dream. We have to come out and vote to make it real," said veteran pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-hung.

Politician-activist Avery Ng told dpa that he hoped they could reach half a million. "We are hoping to break the turn-out record of 570,000 that we set in 2010's de facto referendum," Ng said.

The primaries were thrown into panic and fears of cancellation on Friday after co-organisers, pollsters Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI), were raided by police, who made no arrests and are investigating a case involving a complaint over data handling.

Australian Associated Press