søndag 19. september 2021

‘Puppet showmen’: Hong Kong elite vote in ‘patriots only’ election process

Hong Kong’s political elite begin selecting a powerful committee on Sunday that will choose nearly half the legislature – and later a new leader – under a new “patriots only” system imposed by Beijing. The first poll under that new system, dubbed “patriots rule Hong Kong”, will take place on Sunday as members of the city’s ruling classes choose a 1,500-seat election committee. In December, that committee will appoint 40 of the city’s 90 seats in the legislature – 30 will be chosen by special interest groups and just 20 will be directly elected. In March next year, it will pick Hong Kong’s next China-approved leader.

The financial hub has never been a democracy – the source of years of protests – but a small and vocal opposition was tolerated after the city’s 1997 handover to authoritarian China. Huge democracy rallies exploded two years ago and Beijing has responded with a crackdown and a new political system where only those deemed loyal are allowed to stand for office.