This story has been made freely available as a public service to our readers. Please consider supporting SCMP’s journalism by subscribing . John Lee Ka-chiu, the sole candidate for Hong Kong’s leadership election, has been confirmed as the city’s next chief executive after formally announcing his intention to run less than a month ago, becoming the first former police officer in the top job. Lee secured 1,416 of 1,428 valid votes cast on Sunday, amounting to a staggering 99.2 per cent of all ballots - the highest mark ever reached in Hong Kong’s leadership races. Making a victory speech shortly after the results were announced, Lee appeared on stage with his wife, saying he will serve the city, the country and Hongkongers in this new position. “We will continue to uphold the rule of law, which is a core pillar of our sound governance, and tackle future challenges with absolute confidence, safeguarding our country’s sovereignty, national security and development interest,” he said. He also added that he would “protect Hong Kong from internal and external threats and ensure its stability will continue to be of prominent importance”. Security was tight around the venue throughout the morning with police mobilising as many as 7,000 officers to ensure the election ran smoothly and peacefully. Lee, 64, resigned from his position as the city’s No 2 official last month to run and was the only contender to secure Beijing’s blessing. Before his promotion to chief secretary, Lee was security minister and oversaw the government’s handling of 2019’s social unrest. His later involvement in implementing the Beijing-imposed national security law landed him on a US sanctions list along with several other current and former officials. Follow our live blog for the latest on Hong Kong’s sixth chief executive election. Reporting by Lilian Cheng, Chris Lau, Nadia Lam, Natalie Wong, Tony Cheung and Cannix Yau.