Electoral authorities in Hong Kong said a record 1.7 million voters, 53% of the eligible population, cast their ballots in Sunday's election for the territory's Legislative Council (Legco). Half of the 60 seats in the legislature are elected directly, while the other half are nominated by special interest groups. By early Monday results indicated that pro-democracy candidates had scored 18 seats, up from 17 in the previous election in 2000. Pro-government candidates were expected to take 12 seats, up from seven in the previous vote. The election was the third since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.