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Hong Kong goes to the polls – but few are expected to vote

Hong Kong residents are voting today to appoint the city’s legislature.

But just over 20 per cent of the seats are occupied by the public in the new electoral system that has been heavily criticized – and turnout is expected to be low.

Sunday’s vote is Hong Kong’s first general election since the introduction of the new electoral system, which will ensure that only “patriots” are elected to the city’s legislature.

Polls opened at 8.30 a.m. local time for the nearly 4.4 million Hong Kong residents who were allowed to vote. But more than 50 percent are expected to remain on the sofa because no candidates are considering supporting them, according to opinion polls.

“Young people are not interested in this election because they are being misled by foreign politicians and the media,” said 65-year-old Daniel Su, one of the first candidates at a polling station in one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest districts. regions, Agence France-Presse.

“China is doing a good job now,” he added.

The range of candidates that Hong Kong residents can vote for is limited. Only people who are considered patriotic and politically loyal are allowed to run, and Hong Kong’s largest democratic opposition party has not even considered it worthwhile to try to stand. Major supporters of democracy in the city have been imprisoned, moved abroad, or banned from running.

of the 90 worshipers Moreover, only 20 places have been designated by the public. Prior to the introduction of the new electoral system, Hong Kong had 35 out of 70 seats.

About 10,000 police were ordered to take to the streets to ensure the elections run smoothly. When the city’s supreme leader Carrie Lam voted, three protesters chanted:

“I want real universal suffrage!”

But there were no reports of unrest this morning.

The Hong Kong government joined forces to increase public enthusiasm for the elections. Through front-page advertisements in newspapers, information leaflets and text messages to every household, an attempt was made to persuade Hong Kong residents to vote. The government also attracts free public transportation on election day.

The United Kingdom said last spring that the new system was a breach of an agreement that China pledged to follow when the British handed over Hong Kong in 1997, and Hong Kong’s democracy fighters said residents had been completely disengaged from the electoral process.

“Everyone running will be puppets under Beijing’s complete control,” said activist Nathan Lu, who fled Hong Kong in September, where a few thousand politically minded people voted for 1,500 members of the Beijing-friendly Election Commission, which will appoint 40. of the members of the devotees.

last 30 places They were set up by private groups representing business and special interests, groups known to be loyal to China, according to AFP.

The new election law was voted on during the Chinese People’s Congress in March, according to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post with numbers 167-0.

Hong Kong’s Supreme Leader Carrie Lam said at the time that the widespread politicization of society and the internal division that has fractured Hong Kong can now be effectively bridged.

The election law was another blow to democracy in Hong Kong, after the security law passed early last year. This law addresses what Beijing describes as separatism, subversive activity, terrorism, and collusion with hostile foreign powers.

Since then, more than a hundred democracy activists have been arrested with reference to the new law, mainly for expressing their political views.

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