In itself these elections are not so important. The responsibilities of the district councilors are above all local: they control the expenditure of the districts, and serve as a gym and springboard for emerging politicians. The councilors cannot directly shape the legislative council but have some influence on the 1,200-member committee that selects the chief executive, who is made up of one-tenth district councilors. The importance of the elections – after months of protests – is more than symbolic: the pro-democracy protesters hope to obtain a result that certifies the support of their positions in the population, while the Hong Kong governor Carrie Lam hopes for an opposite result .
For weeks it was feared that China could put pressure on suspending or postponing elections due to protests (Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region): the vote instead started regularly and there were no clashes or tensions. As required by electoral rules, candidates for independence from China could not run for office, including well-known activist Joshua Wong.