03/27/2017, 14.02
HONG KONG – CHINA
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On Carrie Lam’s first day, prosecution awaits Occupy Central leaders

by Paul Wang

Lam is elected chief executive with 777 votes. Viewed as Beijing candidate, she also seen as CY 2.0, heir to Leung Chun-ying (CY 1.0) who is against democratic demands. The formal transfer of power will take place on 1 July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – A day after Carrie Lam’s predictable election as Hong Kong’s chief executive, police announced that three leaders of Occupy Central, a pro-democracy movement with strong influence among young people, plus six other politicians and activists, will face prosecution.

The accused are charged with blocking central Hong Kong for more than two months in 2014 as part of a movement pushing for universal suffrage and the direct election of the chief executive.

Occupy Central co-founders Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and Dr Chan Kin-man are required to turn up at police headquarters in Wan Chai, where they are expected to be arrested and charged.

In December 2014, when Occupy Central ended its protest, the three leaders handed themselves over to police but were not arrested.

Some analysts in Hong Kong note that the timing of the police announcement, perhaps prompted by the Chinese government and the outgoing chief executive, are behind Lam’s opposition to demands for universal suffrage.

In the summer of 2014, Occupy Central held an autonomous referendum in the Administrative Region, which showed strong support for the direct election of Hong Kong’s top government post.

However, the then chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, failed to mention this experience of democracy in his report to the Chinese government, which backed the method of election by an election committee made up of representatives from functional constituencies plus ex officio members representing mainland China and its friends in Hong Kong.

It was Beijing’s decision against democracy that sparked the Occupy Central demonstrations, which received the support of Card Joseph Zen and Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace Commission.

Carrie Lam, a Catholic, has been dubbed ‘CY 2.0’ – a reference to the outgoing chief executive’s initials – because many fear that she will simply continue Leung’s hardline approach to demands for democracy.

In yesterday's elections, Lam received 777 votes from the 1,194-member Election Committee. John Tsang, backed by pan-democrats, won 365 votes. A third candidate, retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, received 21.

Lam was seen by everyone as Beijing’s candidate. Tsang was very popular with the general public, but was not trusted by the establishment.

This morning, C Y Leung met with Carrie Lam (pictured), pledging a smooth handover, which will take place on 1st July, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China.

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