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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 December 15 - 21  > Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election results far from reflecting citizens’ opinions
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2021 December 15 - 21 TOP3 [WORLD]

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election results far from reflecting citizens’ opinions

December 21, 2021
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

In Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) election held on December 19, pro-China candidates subservient to the Chinese and Hong Kong governments won almost all contested seats. On the other hand, the pro-democracy camp calling for political democratization and human rights protection was virtually unable to field candidates due to an electoral system ruled by the Chinese government.

In the previous LegCo election in 2016, the pro-independence forces won 30 seats. In 2019 when the democratization movement gathered steam, the pro-democracy block achieved a crushing victory. However, in the latest LegCo election, the situation totally changed because the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Security Law) was enacted in June 2020.

Based on the Security Law, China's top legislature, the National People's Congress decided to reform Hong Kong’s election system. Under the new system, those who wish to run in an election should pass a screening by the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee. Qualified candidates are required to be loyal to China and Hong Kong and comply with the Security Law. All 153 candidates in the latest LegCo election received approval from the committee.

Since the Security Law was implemented, the pro-democracy movement has been hampered by the arrests of activists and disqualification of pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers. Accordingly, the pro-democracy forces had to give up on putting up candidates for LegCo members. As calls for a boycott on voting were banned, a citizen who called on voters via social media to voice a protest by casting a blank vote was arrested.

These suppressive acts will further undermine the “One Country, Two Systems” framework under the Hong Kong Basic Act which stipulates the city’s autonomy. The Chinese authorities’ suppression of human rights in Hong Kong is incompatible with socialism which seeks human equality and freedom and is not worthy of being called a “communist party”.

China agreed to honor the Universal Human Rights Declaration, the UN human rights covenants, and the Vienna Declaration. The UN covenants, in the section elaborating the civil and political rights and freedoms, stipulate the right to free elections. The Chinese government has the obligation to abide by international human rights instruments as a signatory to these treaties. It is unacceptable for China to reject criticism from the international community as “interference in its internal affairs”.

Past related articles:
> Shii calls for immediate release of 3 Hong Kong democracy activists [December 4, 2020]
> JCP criticizes disqualification of pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers [November 14, 2020]
> Shii condemns China’s imposition of national security legislation on Hong Kong [May 29, 2020]
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