Hong Kong, 'patriotic' nominations approved for new Parliament

Democratic representation reduced to zero after electoral reform. Only 11 candidates out of 153 declare themselves unrelated to pro-Beijing forces. A candidate committed to the democratic protests of 2019-2020 suceeds in being admitted. The problem of voter turnout.

 

 


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The National Security Committee called to screen candidates for the upcoming elections has excluded only one application of the 154 submitted. The democratic front's representation has almost reduced to zero: the new Legco, the city parliament, will be dominated by pro-Beijing exponents.

The vote will be held on December 19, more than a year after their postponement and the consequent extension of the incumbent legislators. At the moment, Parliament is boycotted by Democratic MPs; largely anti-establishment forces have declined to run.

Under the new and controversial electoral law only 20 members out of 90 will be elected by popular vote; the 40 appointed by the pro-Beijing electoral committee will be joined by 30 deputies chosen among the representatives of the professions, also linked to the government.

As reiterated in the third "historic resolution" of the Chinese Communist Party, approved on November 11 by the 6th Plenum of the CCP, only "patriotic" candidates can compete in the vote for the renewal of the Legco: a euphemism for those loyal to the Party and the authorities.

In order to gain admittance to the electoral contest, a candidate must not represent a threat to national security, support the Basic Law (the city's mini-Constitution) and show loyalty to the city executive. Of those accepted, only 11 contestants declared themselves unrelated to pro-establishment forces.

The only true democratic personality in the race is District Councilor Mandy Tam, who used the now-illegal slogan "Free Hong Kong, revolution of our time" during the 2019-2020 protests. She will run in the Kowloon Central district, where the big favorite is incumbent MP Starry Lee, a Party loyalist.

Carrie Lam's executive says the eligible candidates represent the entire political spectrum of the city. Analysts note that the percentage of voters will decree the success or otherwise of the crackdown ordered by Beijing to eliminate the democratic presence in Legco.

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