tirsdag 21. desember 2021

West raises concerns after pro-Beijing candidates sweep Hong Kong elections

Britain, the US and other western allies have expressed “grave concern” over the “erosion of democratic elements” in Hong Kong, hours after pro-Beijing candidates were confirmed to occupy nearly every seat in the former British colony’s new legislature. “We, the foreign ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and the United States secretary of state, noting the outcome of the legislative council elections in Hong Kong, express our grave concern over the erosion of democratic elements of the special administrative region’s electoral system,” the joint statement said.

Sunday’s elections in Hong Kong were marred by record low voter turnoutthat observers say signals a general political apathy in the city, 18 months since authorities began a crackdown on political dissent in the name of national security.

Only 30% of Hong Kong’s 4.4 million eligible voters went to the polls, almost half of the number who voted in the last legislative elections in 2016. In lower-level district council elections in 2019 there was a 71% turnout. The record low turnout came despite pro-Beijing candidates making urgent pleas for more people to vote throughout the polling day.