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Carrie Lam's shaky mandate to lead a divided Hong Kong

Territory's first female chief executive will have to win over a dubious public

HONG KONG Despite Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's landslide victory in the Hong Kong leadership election, there is little guarantee that the Beijing-backed bureaucrat can be a uniting force for the divided territory during her five-year term.

It was to a chorus of cheers and jeers that the 59-year-old Lam was elected on March 26 as Hong Kong's first female chief executive. Her winning vote count of 777, or 67% of the 1,163 valid ballots cast by a small circle of notables, has emerged as a source of division. Pro-Beijing loyalists are calling the number a "symbol of luck," citing its use for jackpots on slot machines and its biblical significance.

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