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Hong Kong votes in democratic primaries despite security law

Hong Kong: Hong Kongers turned out in greater numbers than expected at unofficial primaries held by pro-democracy opposition parties at the weekend, defying a top government official who said the vote may violate a sweeping new national security law.

Almost 230,000 people voted on Saturday at the event to select the candidates who stand the best chance of success in Legislative Council elections in September.

Hong Kong's unofficial primaries for pro-democracy candidates saw a higher than expected turnout.

Hong Kong’s unofficial primaries for pro-democracy candidates saw a higher than expected turnout.Credit:Getty

The primaries come less than two weeks after Beijing imposed the new security legislation, stoking concerns that wide-ranging freedoms not seen in mainland China will be crushed.

The law punishes what China describes broadly as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison, and allows mainland security agents to operate officially in Hong Kong for the first time.

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