søndag 19. desember 2021

Hong Kong: Why the Legco elections are so controversial

Hong Kong is holding its first legislative council election since China introduced sweeping changes that have altered the city's political landscape. The government says the revamped electoral system will ensure only "patriots" will be allowed to stand for election and eventually hold positions of political power. However, critics say it has weakened the city's democratic voice, eradicating whatever opposition is left.

Hong Kong used to be under British control, but was handed back to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" principle. This means that the city has certain democratic freedoms which no other part of mainland China has. This includes the right to elect its own mini-parliament, the Legislative Council (LegCo). The LegCo is a powerful body that not only makes and amends Hong Kong's laws, but also approves budgets and taxes, endorses the appointments of top judges, and can impeach Hong Kong's head of government, the Chief Executive.