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Carrie Lam elected Hong Kong's new chief executive

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's former deputy chief and Beijing's choice, elected as city's new leader, Chinese media report.

Carrie Lam

Hong Kong's electoral committee has chosen Beijing-backed Carrie Lam as the city's next chief executive.

Lam won with 772 votes, the South China Morning Post reported citing an unofficial count. A total of 1,194 electors cast their votes on Sunday.

Hong Kong's small-circle electoral system has come under criticism as unrepresentative of its 7.3 million residents.

With her hardline and pro-Beijing stance, critics and opposition democrats say, her election risks sowing further social divisions in the former British colony that returned to China 20 years ago under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees it wide-ranging freedoms.

Anson Chan, former Hong Kong chief secretary, said that Lam will enter office with a very low approval rating.

"She has to move very quickly to put together a capable and credible team," Chan said, adding: "She will have to somehow establish trust with the people of the country that she will govern."

Chan added that Beijing officials frightened voters by suggesting that they will get to know who voted for whom, despite the ballot being carried out in secret.

"This has been a blatantly unfair and dishonest election. The liaison office representing Beijing in Hong Kong has blatantly interfered in the election process," she said.

Lam, 59, dubbed "the fighter" by local media, was once the most popular official in the cabinet of staunchly pro-Beijing incumbent chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, who in 2012 won a similar election restricted to just 1,200 voters.

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