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Unopposed local elections in Hong Kong

Unopposed local elections in Hong Kong

Only parties that support the Chinese government were able to participate: the turnout was the lowest ever

And in the local elections on December 10 in Hong Kong Been voted Only 27.5 percent of registered voters: a historic low for the semi-autonomous Chinese city, and a significant drop compared to the 2019 election, when 71.2 percent of voters voted. The reason for this decline lies in the fact that in recent years the electoral system has been changed to ensure that only “patriots” – that is, people loyal to the Chinese regime – are elected: in the elections all candidates for democracy. Only pro-China parties participated, which discouraged voters.

The elections were local, and served to renew the eighteen municipal councils into which Hong Kong is divided, but not its parliament or government. The councilors are one of the last political representation bodies directly elected by citizens in Hong Kong. In the 2019 elections, which were celebrated after long months of protests, pro-democracy parties achieved a clear victory, winning 390 seats out of 432. This year, the seats decided by elections were only 88, and all of them were won. By pro-China parties.

Furthermore, in recent years, many pro-democracy activists and politicians in Hong Kong who support universal suffrage have been arrested or forced to flee the city and seek refuge abroad.

cheng yanxiong, Director of the Liaison Office of the Chinese Central Government in Hong Kong He remembered According to the new rules, anyone who is “not a patriot” will not be able to participate in the elections. The principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong” was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2021 and confirmed by current governor John Lee, who is supportive of the Chinese government.

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New rules introduced by the Chinese government stipulate that in order to participate in the elections, each candidate must obtain the approval of at least nine members of local electoral committees, which are appointed by the Hong Kong government but are therefore largely made up of officials loyal to it. the system.

Councilors elected in local elections in Hong Kong typically deal with highly technical issues, such as construction projects or public facilities management, and their election has not attracted much attention in the international press. Things have changed after the last elections in 2019.

The one on December 10th is too prime minister Local elections since the imposition of a national security law in 2020, under which China implemented a gradual crackdown on dissent in the Hong Kong territory after massive, well-attended pro-democracy protests that lasted for almost a year.

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