The first Hong Kong elections under the revamped system are largely uncontested


Hong Kong — With few democratic camps, Pro-Beijing candidates are running uncontested in most of the seats of the Hong Kong Election Commission, which was tasked with choosing city leaders, the government said. The announcement was made on August 13.

The September 19 vote on the Commission has been since China reviewed Hong Kong’s electoral system in May to ensure that the former British colony was run by “patriots” loyal to Beijing. Is the first election of.

The government said it had received only 1,056 nominations for the 980 open seats after the one-week nomination period ended on August 12.

A new committee that could disqualify candidates is legally mandated to work closely with Chinese security officials to scrutinize candidates for the 2022 election committee and leader elections. ..

The composition of the election committee is the latest blow to opposition movements in which dozens of members have been arrested, imprisoned, or fled from Hong Kong since Beijing imposed National Security Act on Hong Kong last year.

Members of the Democratic-controlled 117 community-level district council committee have been abolished and more than 500 seats have been added to China’s business, political, and interest groups.

Representatives from specialized sub-sectors that traditionally had a strong presence in promoting democratization, such as law, education, social welfare, medical care, and medical services, were diluted and elected by the addition of ex officio members. The number of seats has decreased.

Of the 36 sub-sectors participating in the contest, 23, for a total of about 600 seats, will not participate in the competition, as the number of candidates matches the number of seats, suggesting a nomination adjustment.

Change of guards

According to Reuters calculations based on the Election Commission’s website, about 70% of candidates were newcomers who were not featured in the Commission’s last two polls.

China promised the right to vote as the ultimate goal of Hong Kong in its mini-constitution, the Basic Law. The basic law also states that Hong Kong has broad autonomy from Beijing.

Democratic activists and Western nations say political reviews have moved cities in the opposite direction, leaving democratic opposition in the most confined space since their delivery in 1997.

As Beijing seeks to rebalance power from large corporations to small businesses, many of the city’s prominent tycoons, including Hong Kong’s wealthiest Li Ka-shing, will not join the election committee for the first time.

Lee Shau-kee (93) of Henderson Land and Henry Chen (74) of the New World Development have withdrawn from the race, along with other real estate kings, but his sons have already retained their seats. ing. Owned.

The Election Commission will elect 40 seats in the renewed Palestinian Legislature in December and the Chief Executive of Hong Kong in March 2022.

Claire Jim