07/14/2020, 11.43
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Beijing terms Hong Kong Democratic primary a provocation

Over 600 thousand people voted over the weekend to choose candidates for the city Parliament. Authorities claim vote organized by the Democrats could represent a violation of the security law. Carrie Lam: It's subversion. Democratic activists: All in compliance with the Basic Law.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The primaries organized over the weekend by the democratic front are a "provocation" and may have violated the city’s security law, according to a spokesman for the Chinese liaison office with Hong Kong.

The comments are heightening fears of pro-democracy activists that the new legislation will be used to crack down on dissent.

Over 600,000 people (13.8% of the electorate) voted on July 11 and 12 to choose candidates for the September parliamentary elections, a far higher turnout than expected.

Analysts have called it a referendum against the draconian security measure wanted by Beijing which entered into force on 30 June. The new norm introduces the crimes of separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

More than the high turnout, the concern of the Chinese and local authorities are worried by the results of the primaries. The winners are largely drawn from the "localist" movement, in favor of greater autonomy or independence of the former British colony. The democratic camp aims to obtain a solid majority in the Legco (the local Parliament), in order to block the budget and the liberticidal laws proposed by the city executive.

For the Liaison Office, charged with overseeing the implementation of the security law, democratic forces want to gain power to carry out a "velvet revolution".

Carrie Lam, head of the Hong Kong government, has warned that the democratic parties intention to adopt a strong obstructionism in the Legco could come under "subversion against state power".

Benny Tai, one of the primary organizers, replied that Legco's power to block government initiatives is provided for by the Basic Law, the mini-Constitution on which the autonomy of the city from the motherland is based.

According to several observers, the risk of electoral victory on the anti-Beijing front, combined with the election of many local leaders, could push the authorities to disqualify some democratic candidates or even postpone the vote.

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