Carrie Lam to be Hong Kong's first female Chief Executive

New leader, same problems

The Hong Kong election is not a direct one; candidates are voted by an election committee, mostly comprising pro-Beijing members.

Political analysts attributed her eventual victory to the consolidation of the large pro-establishment voting bloc making up about 40 per cent of the Election Committee, and strong support from the business sector, in particular from tycoons such as Li Ka-shing and his two sons Victor and Richard, who had expressed support for the lone female candidate.

Sunday's election is forecast to usher in another divisive leader-Leung's former deputy Carrie Lam. Some pro-democracy supporters in the official seating area yelled slogans and held up a yellow umbrella, the symbol of the 2014 protests.

"Theoretically, the chief executive is a bridge between the central government and the Hong Kong people", he said.

"If Carrie Lam continues to maintain her attitude during the election period, the ignorance toward the reality and voices from the public, then I don't think she will have an easy time at the Legislative Council", said Alvin Yeung, head of the prodemocracy Civic Party and an elected lawmaker. She says she's aware that many people in Hong Kong dream of being able to vote directly, but she adds that political reforms should be shelved for a more appropriate time. "This is why we have to keep engaging in civil disobedience".

'The work of uniting society begins now': Carrie Lam pledges to heal Hong Kong's divideImmediately after Lam's victory, she promised to "heal the social divide" and "unite our society to move forward", an arduous task which some mainland legal experts argue could be shared by the central government.

He has been nicknamed "Pringles" or "Uncle Chips" in Cantonese for his signature mustache that draws comparisons to the snack food mascot and his followers call themselves "small potatoes".

When the result was announced, he tweeted that Lam had been elected with "only 777 votes". John Tsang 21 votes - retired judge Woo Kwok-hing Hundreds of Lam supporters waved China flags and cheered inside and outside the venue after Lam's win.

Ms Lam, 59, was Beijing's choice to lead the territory.

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Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based journalist.

That could prove hard, given the lack of widespread public support for her. She lagged far behind Tsang in opinion polls.

Ms Lam pledged "to heal the divide and to ease the frustrations and to unite our society to move forward", but protesters said the planned arrests will make this hard.

Following a brief meeting between the pair at government headquarters on Monday, Lam said her former boss had "responded positively" to her election promise to unify the city.

He said police told him to report to their station, where he would be arrested for violating public nuisance and incitement laws.

Lam succeeds current leader Leung Chun-ying, who cited family reasons when he ruled out a second term.

Lam will face an uphill struggle to unite a city in which young people in particular have lost faith in the political system and their own overall prospects. They demanded completely free elections without Beijing's vetting of candidates. "So it's their responsibility, nobody else's", Tsang said.

They include the disappearance in 2015 of five Hong Kong booksellers known for publishing salacious titles about China's political elite.

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