Hong Kong ‘patriots only’ elections see lowest-ever turnout

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By RockedBuzz 4 Min Read

Hong Kong city leader John Lee (centre L) said this year's election was 'the last piece of the puzzle to implement the principle of patriotism in the governance of Hong Kong'.

Hong Kong metropolis chief John Lee (centre L) mentioned this 12 months’s election was ‘the final piece of the puzzle to implement the precept of patriotism within the governance of Hong Kong’.

Hong Kong – Hong Kong’s district council elections noticed a turnout of 27.5 %, the federal government mentioned Monday, a document for a race by which all opposition candidates closed.

The metropolis final held district council elections on the top of huge, generally violent, pro-democracy protests in 2019, recording a historic high-71 % turnout that gave the pro-democracy camp a landslide victory.

But dissent – aided by a sweeping nationwide safety legislation imposed in Beijing – has sparked a drive by authorities to weed out of public workplace anybody deemed politically disloyal within the wake of the protests.

Sunday’s voting day stretched to midnight, after a uncommon 90-minute extension was granted following a failure within the digital system used to verify voters’ eligibility.

Despite the additional time, the federal government’s official web site was up to date on Monday morning to indicate a remaining turnout of 27.54 %, simply shy of 1.2 million out of 4.3 million registered voters who went to the polls.

Previously, 35.82 % was the bottom turnout for the reason that metropolis was transferred to China, recorded in 1999.

City chief John Lee thanked the “greater than 1 million” voters at round 1:45 am on Monday (1745 GMT Sunday) for popping out.

After Sunday’s vote, he mentioned this 12 months’s election was “the final piece of the puzzle to implement the precept of patriotism within the governance of Hong Kong”.

“From now on, the district councils wouldn’t be what they have been up to now — a platform to destroy and reject the federal government’s administration, promote Hong Kong’s independence and undermine nationwide safety in peril,” Lee mentioned after throwing his. poll on Sunday.

According to new guidelines introduced in May, the variety of seats that could possibly be instantly elected was diminished from 462 to 88, with the remaining 382 seats managed by town chief, authorities loyalists and rural landlords.

Candidates have been additionally required to hunt nominations from three government-appointed committees, successfully shutting out all pro-democracy events.

Over 70 % of the candidates chosen to run for the election have been members of the nomination committees.

Police additionally acted swiftly to quell any signal of dissent on Sunday, arresting not less than six folks.

Three have been activists from the Society of Social Democrats – one of many final remaining opposition teams within the metropolis – who deliberate to stage a protest.

Police initially accused the three of “trying to incite others to intervene in district council elections” and later referred them to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for on suspicion of “inciting others to not vote”.

The League known as the arrest “extraordinarily ironic and ridiculous”.

On Friday, the nationwide safety police arrested a 77-year-old man for “trying to commit horrible acts”.

A 38-year-old man was charged on Tuesday with reposting a video of an abroad commentator who allegedly incited folks to boycott the election.

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