Pro-democracy Hong Kong activist Nathan Law
Pro-democracy Hong Kong activist Nathan Law

No free, fair elections in Hong Kong anymore: Activist Nathan Law

ANI | Updated: Mar 31, 2021 07:45 IST

Hong Kong, March 31 (ANI): Slamming China's latest move to reduce the number of directly elected seats in Hong Kong's legislature, pro-democracy activist Nathan Law has said that democracy is being denied and citizens are being "humiliated" in the city, showing how the Communist Party of China "destroys civility and liberties."
"No free and fair elections in Hong Kong anymore. Candidates are vetted by the political police. Most seats are reserved for pro-CCP colluders. Democracy is denied and citizens are humiliated, showing how CCP destroys civility and liberties. The world should act now," Law tweeted on Tuesday.
China on Tuesday approved the most controversial and sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong's electoral system, which will slash the number of directly elected seats in the city's legislature from half to about one-fifth.
The proposal was unanimously approved by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, granting the Election Committee with new power to send 40 representatives to the Legislative Council, which has been expanded from 70 to 90 seats, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).
The 167-0 vote was accompanied by a large round of applause, according to Tam Yiu-chung, the city's sole representative to the standing committee.
Under the new proposal, which is said to take effect on Wednesday, the Hong Kong Legislative Council's geographical constituencies will be reduced from 35 to 20 seats, which dramatically diminishes the element of direct voting.
The national security police unit would help scrutinise candidates and submit a report to the newly formed vetting committee, informed Tam.

The powerful new committee that will vet candidates for Hong Kong's most important elections will be kept to fewer than 10 people and members decided by two groups overseeing national security, reported SCMP.
The committee would have an odd number of people and the chairman would act as the tiebreaker, said a source. Furthermore, no judicial review or appeal of the body's decisions will be allowed for candidates and the newly empowered Election Committee will also be expanded by 300 members.
The new members will include patriotic groups and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to further reinforce the pro-establishment camp's control of the body.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also criticised China's latest move saying, "Today China enacted changes to Hong Kong's electoral system which are a clear breach of the Joint Declaration - undermining the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and breaking Beijing's international obligations."
China's recent step has raised concerns that Beijing might be rejecting the 'one country two systems' made to Hong Kong in 1997.
Despite fierce international condemnation, China approved the contentious resolution, a move that critics say could further smother opposition voices in Hong Kong.
Several countries have condemned Beijing's move to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system. (ANI)