Pro-democracy supporters celebrate after a landslide win in Hong Kong's council elections in © Philip Fong / AFP via Getty Images

The pro-democracy candidates who swept Sundays District Council elections in embattled Hong Kong, taking 389 of 452 seats, include three local artists running as independents: Susi Law Wai-shan, a manager of artist hub Foo Tak Building in Wanchai, the curator and artist Clara Cheung, in Happy Valley, and Wong Tin Yan, founder of independent space Form Society, in Lai King. Photographer John Choy Yuk-wai lost his bid in Sha Ta, in the northern Hong Kong villages.

Supporters of the democracy protests had their spirits raised further today as US President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, passed by both houses of Congress last week, supporting the protests and banning the sale to Hong Kong of crowd control equipment such as rubber bullets and tear gas. Trump had earlier commented that he might veto the legislation to facilitate trade negotiations with the Mainland.

Elections took place peacefully, with an unprecedented 71.2% turnout, despite a heavy police presence at polling stations and an ongoing standoff between police and trapped protesters at the citys Polytechnic University. Previously, the pro-establishment and -Beijing parties led by Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) held 69.37% of the seats. Speaking ahead of the vote Cheung said the government supporters “at least they need to go through the competition, and now say in public what their political stands are. And then hopefully we can have more 50% of the pro-democratic candidates go into the council, to try and make a change within the system.”

The Hong Kong and Mainland governments are reported to be blindsided by the election results, with leaks that state media had pre-prepared headlines announcing a pro-government sweep. Outspoken Beijing supporter Junius Ho lost his seat in Tuen Mun, and while Umbrella Movement leader Joshua Wong was banned from running due to his support for Hong Kong independence, his proxy candidate Kelvin Lam won in South Horizons West.

Democrats now control 17 of the citys 18 District Councils. While the Read More – Source