This year’s Legislative Council elections mark a sobering milestone in the Chinese government’s dismantling of Hong Kong’s democracy, freedoms and autonomy….reports Asian Lite News
A global alliance of parliamentarians slammed China as polling stations opened on Sunday in Hong Kong where people are voting in the patriots’-only Legislative Council election, the first one since the imposition of sweeping national security law and a shake-up of the city’s electoral system.
In a statement, Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), said these elections will be “little more than an exhibition in authoritarianism.”
This year’s Legislative Council elections mark a sobering milestone in the Chinese government’s dismantling of Hong Kong’s democracy, freedoms and autonomy.
The elections will be the first to take place since changes made under the ‘patriot’ electoral reform law; changes that have slashed the number of directly contested seats and require candidates to be screened by government officials. The elections will also be the first since the passage of the National Security Law in June 2020, since which all of Hong Kong’s major opposition leaders are now in jail or exile.
“These elections will therefore be little more than an exhibition in authoritarianism. By preventing certain candidates from standing, the Hong Kong authorities have stripped from the ballot box the democratic principles upon which free and fair elections must rely,” IPAC said in a statement.
The new system puts in place under the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong.” Under this system, all the candidates must be approved by a national security vetting committee.
The social democratic party in Hong Kong staged a small protest on Sunday morning, where Chief Executive Carrie Lam cast her vote at a polling station nearby, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported.
The slogans during the demonstrations included, “I want universal suffrage” and “the more we are silenced, the more we must raise our voice.”
“We are protesting against [Chief Executive] Carrie Lam for destroying our electoral system using under the guise of improving the election, but in reality, completely depriving the voting rights of Hong Kong people,” said Chan Po-ying, chairperson of the League of Social Democrats (LSD).
The Sunday election, which was originally set to take place on September 6, 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being held Aas accordance with the “patriots run Hong Kong” principle.
The city new legislative council will begin its work on January 1, 2022. (ANI)