The election for the sixth-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) began early on Sunday as hundreds of polling stations opened at 7:30 a.m. local time for registered electors to cast their votes.
Voting will end 15 hours later at 10:30 p.m. and final results of the election are expected to be unveiled on Monday.
The Legislative Council has 70 members, with 35 returned by geographical constituencies through direct elections, and the other 35 by functional constituencies.
Of the 289 validly nominated candidates for the election, 213 will compete for 35 seats in the five geographical constituencies.
For the functional constituency election, there are 55 validly nominated candidates (excluding candidates of the District Council (second) functional constituency), and 43 of them will run for 18 seats in the functional constituencies. The remaining 12 candidates in 10 functional constituencies will be returned to the LegCo uncontested.
In addition, 21 candidates have been validly nominated to contest five seats in the District Council (second) functional constituency, commonly known as the “super seats.”
According to the final registers of electors for 2016 published in July, the final register for the geographical constituencies has a total of 3,779,085 electors who are eligible to vote in Sunday’s election.
A total of 595 polling stations have been opened on the polling day across Hong Kong, including 571 ordinary polling stations and 24 dedicated polling stations.
Vice Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Tung Chee-hwa visited a polling station in the morning to cast his vote, expressing his hope that voters pick the candidates that would build a better Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and some officials of the SAR government also voted in the morning. Leung urged the public to come out to vote and pick the candidates of their choice.
The LegCo is the legislature of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Each term of office of a member is four years, except for the first term when it was set to be two years.
The fifth term of LegCo began on Oct. 1, 2012 and will end on Sept. 30, 2016. The term of office of the newly-elected sixth LegCo members will begin on Oct. 1, 2016.