Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Beijing clubs new “patriotic” electoral system for Hong Kong

The changes mean that the number of directly elected seats in Hong Kong’s Legislative Assembly will now be reduced from 35 to 20, while the total number of seats will be increased from 70 to 90, according to the news agency Reuters.

In addition to the 20 directly elected seats, 40 of the members of the assembly, as well as its chairman, will be appointed by a Beijing-friendly election committee and 30 of the seats will be filled by special groups representing business and special interests, groups known for being loyal to China, reports AFP .

Only real

The new law also stipulates that the democratically elected members who currently sit on Hong Kong’s local district council may no longer sit on the election committee.

The city’s district council, which only handles local issues such as garbage collection and public transport, is today seen as the only “truly” democratic congregations. Nearly 90 percent of the 452 seats are held by members loyal to Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

To be ruled by “patriots”

Chinese authorities say the change is aimed at getting rid of “loopholes and shortcomings” that are said to have threatened national security during recent years of regime-critical protests in the city. They also say they want to ensure that Hong Kong is ruled by “patriots”.

According to the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, the proposal was voted through with the numbers 167-0.

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Critics have described the changes as one of the last nails in the coffin of the former British-controlled region’s democracy movement.

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