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Monday, Jan 25, 2021

No protests, no violence, no tear gas: not your usual Sunday in Hong Kong, as voters join peaceful, snaking queues

Surreal calm as district council elections turn into ‘referendum’ on months of political unrest. Some voters want violence to end, others hope to see pro-Beijing camp wiped out
Chef Winnie Leung, 45, joined the long queue outside a Sha Tin polling station on Sunday, waiting to cast her vote for the first time in her life.

“I am apolitical and used to feel my vote was not needed as Hong Kong was peaceful,” she said.

But more than five months of turmoil in the city, which saw anti-government protests becoming increasingly violent and spreading from the streets to university campuses, made her decide it was time to vote.

Leung, who was with her daughters, aged 18 and 20, said she was angry with the way police had dealt with the protesters.

Over at a polling station in Mong Kok, the queue was about 500 deep at noon. May Ho, 61, said she was there to support pro-Beijing candidate Keith Lee Ka-hin, because she felt he stood against violence.

“My mother, 91, is also coming out to vote after 20 years,” she said. “Society needs to return to peace.”

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