Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Pro-Beijing candidates win Hong Kong elections Nation World News

HONG KONG (AP) – Pro-Beijing candidates outnumbered moderates and independents in Hong Kong’s legislative elections after Beijing passed a resolution to amend the city’s election laws.

Candidates loyal to Beijing won a majority of seats in Sunday’s election, after laws were changed to ensure that only pro-Beijing “patriots” could run the city.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said during a news conference on Monday that she was “satisfied” with the election despite a 30.2% turnout – the lowest since the British handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997.

He said the number of registered voters reached 92.5%, a record high compared to the 2012 and 2016 elections, when nearly 70% of voters had registered.

“For registered voters, it is entirely a matter for them to decide whether they want to exercise their franchise in a particular election or not,” she said.

“1.35 million voters cast their votes in this election. Not only did they return candidates of their choice to Legco, and I think it was also because of their support for a better electoral system,” Lam said, referring to the city’s legislative council.

Under the new laws, the number of directly elected MPs was reduced from 35 to 20, while the legislature was increased from 70 to 90 seats. Most of the lawmakers were largely appointed by pro-Beijing bodies, ensuring that they form the majority of the legislature.

All candidates were also extensively screened by a pro-Beijing committee before being nominated.

Lam said that even though 2019 saw a high turnout during a period of political strife based on “bad politics”, such as political polarization, it was “not something we should be happy about.”

Stary Lee, a pro-Beijing Legislative Council candidate elected by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong Party, said 30% of the turnout was “within the general public’s expectation”.

“As I mentioned earlier, this is a new system, this is a system that we call the patriots governing Hong Kong,” Lee said.

“It’s different from the previous one, so you can’t compare directly. And I believe with the new system, people need time to get used to it.”

The opposition camp criticized the elections, with the largest pro-democracy party, the Democratic Party, not fielding a candidate for the first time since the 1997 handover.

Lam said he expects 90 legislators to be “very exciting” to work with because they have different opinions on many social issues.

Lam was expected to travel to Beijing later on Monday on a duty-reporting visit, which she says is to give Beijing a full account of the latest political and economic situation in Hong Kong.

“I look forward to covering a wide range of issues on this special duty visit because through two very decisive acts of central authorities, Hong Kong is now back on the right track of ‘one country, two systems’, ” He said.

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Nation World News Desk
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