Hong Kong’s new government, which took office with the hand-over to China a week ago, moved Tuesday to establish a new electoral system that is likely to sharply limit the presence of pro-democracy candidates in future legislatures while ensuring dominance of pro-business and pro-Beijing lawmakers.
Pro-democracy politicians denounced the government’s move as a retreat from the political liberties and rights that were enjoyed by Hong Kong residents under British colonial rule.
At the same time, the government, led by Tung Chee-hwa, who was appointed by Beijing, announced substantial reductions in the number of voters who could take part in the elections to be held for a new legislature next year.
“Our key considerations,” said Nicholas Ng, a senior civil servant charged with enacting Tung’s electoral plans, “are to have an open and fair election, to achieve a balanced participation of all groups and individuals, and to constitute a credible legislature.”
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.