Election of new Hong Kong leader "violates democratic principles"

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
John Lee, the new leader of Hong Kong
John Lee, the new leader of Hong Kong   -   Copyright  AP Photo

Hong Kong has a new leader to replace outgoing Chief Executive, Carrie Lam.

John Lee, a hard-line security chief who oversaw the crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement was elected on Sunday more than  99% of the vote by a 1500-strong pro-Beijing committee.

He was the only candidate, which led to immediate criticism from some quarters.

In a tweet, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, said Lee's election violated democratic principles, adding that the process was another step in the dismantling of the 'one country, two systems' principle.

Lee will replace current leader Carrie Lam on July 1. Her five-term was marked by huge pro-democracy protests over the increasing influence of Beijing in Hong Kong affairs.

The resulting crackdown quashed virtually all dissent and undermined the city's reputation as an international business hub.