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Hong Kong's pro-democracy election landslide handicaps Beijing

District council victory undermines lavish system of patronage in city

| Hong Kong, Macao

I was awakened by thunderous cheers and applause coming from the counting station down the road. It was half-past two in the morning and hundreds of people were chanting "Revolution of our times," a slogan of the Hong Kong protests, and celebrating the victory of pro-democracy candidates in the previous day's district council elections.

I scrolled on my phone in the darkness, and the breaking news headlines showed the pro-democracy camp had won more than half the seats. It was one of the few nights in the past six months I could sleep well: like many protesters, I have been longing for a small victory during a time of profound political turmoil.

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