>> A race for the future of Hong Kong. Three candidates winning the right to run for top office this month. It may just be the toughest job in the city. It would mean juggling calls for Democracy on one hand after mass protests two years ago with orders from the Communist party in Beijing on the other.
Reuters' Venus Wu explains who's ahead in this race like no other.>> We are now at the heart of Hong Kong's financial district. But if you look around, there are no political or campaign posters anywhere. This is because only about 1,200 people would choose the next chief executive, and most of them will make their votes based on what Beijing wants.
Well, right now, the forerunner of the election is Carrie Lam. She is a career civil servant. She is known as a fighter. She has executed Beijing's orders very loyally in the past. Right now, former Financial Secretary John Tsang is leading the popularity polls. He's done Facebook lives, he's engaging with the young people, and people really like him.
But ultimately, this may not matter very much in the election because only about 1,200 people have a vote in the city of 7.3 million people.>> Hong Kong's system may seem strange to outsiders. Because the pool of voters is so restricted, there's really no way to rally for votes.
>> The election campaign in Hong Kong happens behind closed doors when the candidates meet with those people who have votes. Most of these people are the rich and powerful in Hong Kong. The property tycoons, the conglomerate bosses. Not really exactly the everyday people in Hong Kong.>> After the detention of Hong Kong booksellers by Chinese agents in 2015, many locals have raised an outcry over what they see as Beijing's creeping influence.
The election's frontrunner isn't exactly inspiring hope for more independence in the future. Carrie Lam was the champion of Beijing-backed reforms, seen as a trigger for the umbrella movement protests in the first place.