Hong Kong’s electoral system is undergoing a comprehensive reform process. The Chinese parliament gave the green light for this Thursday, the South China Morning Post reported. Critics fear that the pro-democracy opposition in the former British Crown Colony will be sidelined.
The newspaper writes that it paved the way for the capital’s largest electoral reform since 1997. The United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong to the Communist People’s Republic that year. It promised that Hong Kong would enjoy self-government status for another half-century. The city has its own legal system and parliament, although not all members of parliament are directly elected by the voter.
China previously introduced a controversial security law and is now tightening its grip on Hong Kong. Government media reported that the composition of the Electoral College that elects the Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong has been changed. Hundreds of members perceived to be pro-Beijing have been added. The seats now reserved for Hong Kong local officials are expected to be canceled. These politicians often belong to the opposition camp.
The right way
In addition, there will be a committee that will judge candidates for the Electoral College and Parliament in Hong Kong. In fact, this means that members perceived as insufficient “patriots” can be banned soon. Hong Kong’s parliament will also get dozens of additional seats.
– The Chinese parliament, the National People’s Congress, has mandated its standing committee to further develop reforms. Bikini-oriented Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded with relief saying the electoral changes are aimed at getting her city back on the right track.
There was widespread applause in the National People’s Congress when thousands of parliamentarians approved the proposal. There was international criticism. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Beijing is now working to limit possibilities for democratic debate in the capital. “This contradicts the promises made by China itself,” he said in a statement.