Record-low voter turnout as HK varieties new LegCo

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Pro-Beijing candidates swept Sunday’s election to the town’s Legislative Council (LegCo) underneath a “patriots-only” system that noticed the lowest-ever voter turnouts.

Beijing, nonetheless, stated that prospects for democracy in Hong Kong are “bright” whereas Chief Executive Carrie Lam added yesterday that she was “satisfied with this election”.

Mrs Lam additionally stated {that a} excessive turnout charge primarily based on polarisation, as seen between the rival camps in 2019, “is not something we should be glad of”.

The patriot-only decision launched in March had ensured that solely 20 of the 90 seats have been instantly elected by the general public, whereas the remainder have been picked by the professionalBeijing election committee and different teams that favour Beijing.

This meant that almost all of the seats have been swept by pro-establishment candidates as solely a dozen of those that contested oppose Beijing – and none of them received.

Backing a White Paper issued by China’s State Council Information Office on Hong Kong’s democratic progress, Mrs Lam famous: “There isn’t any one-size-fits-all and there’s no superior democratic system.

“Our democratic development should be in line with our constitutional order under the ‘one country, two systems’.”

Mrs Lam stated the final word objective to have common suffrage in selecting the town’s chief was set out within the Basic Law and that central authorities had beforehand tried to advance the democratic system.

But legislators who claimed to be democrats “scuppered the plan”, “dragging the feet of our democratic development”.

The silver lining is that Hong Kong is now “back on the right track” with an improved system to make sure patriots govern the town, concluded Mrs Lam.

The Hong Kong chief is in Beijing from final night time until Thursday to present an account of the town’s state of affairs.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian yesterday stated the territory has made an enormous step ahead within the improvement of democracy with Hong Kong options.

“Patriots administering Hong Kong doesn’t mean uniformity, but diversity,” he stated, noting that the election will assist Hong Kong out of the “pan-politicisation” quagmire and develop high-quality democracy that matches Hong Kong’s actuality.

Mr Zhao famous that there was no democracy in Hong Kong underneath British rule however after the handover, Beijing paved the way in which for democracy with the “one country, two systems” precept.

In all, 153 candidates fought for 90 LegCo seats.

But solely 30.2 per cent, or 1.35 million out of 4.5 million eligible voters, solid their votes within the direct election to decide on 20 lawmakers, making it the bottom charge earlier than and after the 1997 handover to China.

The earlier lowest turnout charge was 35.8 per cent in 1996, a 12 months earlier than the handover. The previous six LegCo elections have seen a mean 51 per cent voter turnout.

Local studies estimated that the variety of invalid votes was roughly 27,000, amounting to 2 per cent of complete votes – a file excessive.

With the important thing pan-democratic events skipping the election, a few dozen of the candidates who say they don’t seem to be pro-establishment didn’t win any seats within the geographical constituencies.

Instead, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong swept the direct elections, with its candidates successful in every of the ten constituencies.

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