- Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an electoral reform in Hong Kong.
- The sole delegate from Hong Kong told Agence France-Presse that the electoral reform of the Special Administrative Region has been approved unanimously by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
- Thus, Beijing controls the selection of candidates and can, for example, disqualify certain candidates.
The reform, pushed by Beijing without consulting the Hong Kong Parliament, is part of Beijing’s seizure of power in the former British colony after the main protest movement of 2019. The democratic rights already restricted for the people of Hong Kong will be further curtailed with a new electoral system.
Little is known officially about the content of the fix. But Tam Yiu Chung, the sole representative of Hong Kong in the highest decision-making body in the Chinese parliament, explained the new system to AFP.
- Hong Kong’s parliament will be expanded from 70 to 90 members.
- Only 20 seats will be awarded through direct elections, 22 percent of the seats in Parliament. So far there were 35 seats, that is, half.
- 40 seats are allocated by a committee made up of the Beijing-friendly people.
- The remaining 30 seats will be allocated in a complex system so far preferred by Beijing.
In addition, Tam said, any person running for a position must be “approved” by a committee set up by the Hong Kong authorities. This body is also responsible for implementing the strict security law.
“The National Security Committee and the National Security Police in Beijing will prepare reports on each candidate to assist in the commission’s monitoring process,” Tam told AFP.