lørdag 18. desember 2021

Hong Kong ‘patriots’ election casts doubt over democracy as city enters new era

Days before Hong Kong’s legislative council election, 15 months after it was supposed to be held, former legislator Ted Hui is on the phone from Adelaide railing against the government. In the southern Australian city he is far from the Hong Kongwarrants for his arrest and instead in a place where, unlike many of his former colleagues, he can speak freely.

“For the Hong Kong people there are not many choices now but to accept illegitimate elections. The parliament is going to be a rubber stamp for Beijing and this election carries no democratic element at all.”

More than two years into a brutal crackdown on dissent by Beijing and its supporting government in Hong Kong, the city of 7.5 million people has been fundamentally changed. The pro-democracy movement has been crushed and its biggest advocates and fighters jailed, silenced, or sent fleeing overseas. Under a campaign dubbed “patriots run Hong Kong”, an overhaul of the electoral system has gutted the partial democracy Hong Kong once had, and made it effectively impossible for the opposition to win a majority.