Beijing to impose stronger scrutiny of election candidates

Beijing to impose stronger scrutiny of election candidates

Beijing to impose stronger scrutiny of election candidates

The Chinese parliament is seized of a reform of the electoral system in the former British colony, which should result in the marginalization of the candidates of the pro-democracy opposition.

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Beijing to impose stronger scrutiny of election candidates

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Posted the 03/05/2021 06:50

Update the 03/05/2021 06:50

Reading time : 1 min.

Beijing will impose a tightened control of the candidates to the legislative elections in Hong Kong, announced Friday (March 5) a Chinese deputy. The Chinese parliament, meeting from Friday for its annual plenary session, is seized of a reform of the electoral system in the former British colony, which should result in the marginalization of the candidates of the pro-democracy opposition.

The National People’s Assembly (PNA) already imposed a national security law last year in its autonomous territory, which radically undermined political freedoms there, in reaction to the 2019 demonstrations against the pro-Beijing local executive.

This time, under the terms of the law presented to the ANP, an electoral committee subservient to the communist regime will be responsible for examining candidates for the Legislative Council (Legco), the Hong Kong parliament. No candidate will be able to stand without the approval of this body.

The task of the electoral committee will be “to elect a large part of the members of the Legislative Council and to participate directly in the nomination of all the candidates”Wang Chen, vice chairman of the ANP Standing Committee, told reporters.

The Legislative Council is currently made up of 70 deputies, half of whom are democratically elected and the other half by the pro-Beijing electoral committee. This device has enabled the Chinese authorities to secure majorities in favor of Hong Kong since the return of British territory to China in 1997.

With the approach of the Hong Kong legislative elections scheduled in principle for September, Beijing has already indicated that it intends to ensure that only “patriots” can lead the autonomous region.

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