ELECTIONS POSTPONED FOR ONE YEAR IN HONG KONG
“The announcement I have to make today is the hardest decision I have to make in the past 7 months,” Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam said in a statement. Announcing the government’s postponement of the Legislative Council elections for 1 year due to the growing Covid-19 incidents, Lam said, “We want to guarantee the issue of health with equity and public safety, and we must make sure that the election is open, fair and impartial. So this decision is essential.”
Stating that the decision to postpone the elections was made entirely on the grounds of public security, Lam said that there was no political factor behind the decision. A group of 22 opposition lawmakers made a statement before Lam’s announcement accusing the government of using the epidemic as an excuse to delay the election.
It is stated that the pro-democracy MPs, who represent 60 percent of the public opinion, collectively oppose the postponement of the election. The statement noted that the Hong Kong government has the responsibility to make every effort to take adequate anti-epidemic measures to make the elections as planned in September.
In Hong Kong, 35 seats of the 70-seat Legislative Council are determined by the proportional representation system, geographic electoral circle and general vote, while 35 are elected by professional or special interest groups called “functional electoral circles”. Among the functional electoral circles, 5, called “super chairs”, are determined by the general vote, with the candidates nominated by 15 members among the Municipal Council members. Hong Kong citizens only elect members of the City Council by a general vote. Legislative Council elections in the region were last held in September 2016.