The changes approved by the opposition have reduced the number of directly elected seats and will freeze the majority of Chinese critics.
Since British rule, Hong Kong’s opposition legislature has approved the largest reform of its political system. This is a decisive step in safeguarding Beijing’s authority over the autonomous city.
The measure received 40 votes in favor and 2 votes against it on Thursday. Since last year, the pro-Beijing government has not encountered opposition in the legislature. At that time, China disqualified some pro-democratic politicians, while others protested.
These changes will reduce the proportion of directly elected legislative seats from half to less than a quarter. A new agency will give veterinarian candidates and treat those patriotic bars that are deemed insufficient to China’s patriotism.
Pro-Beijing legislator Peter Shiu said: “These six hundred pages of legislation are just a few words: Patriots rule Hong Kong.”
Most of the changes were announced by China in March, but the Hong Kong authorities later provided more details, such as redrawing electoral boundaries and criminalizing ballot blanks.
The Chinese authorities stated that the purpose of the electoral reforms is to eliminate the “loopholes and deficiencies” that threatened national security during the anti-government turmoil in 2019, and to ensure that only “patriots” manage the city.
The number of seats in the legislature will increase from 70 to 90. The number of directly elected seats will be reduced from 35 to 20. The Election Committee will fill 40 seats, and the Election Committee will also be responsible for electing the CEO.
The new review committee, which has the power to disqualify candidates, will work with national security agencies to ensure that these people are loyal to Beijing.
The election of the Election Committee is scheduled to be held on September 19, and the election of the legislature is scheduled to be held in three months. The committee will elect the CEO on March 27, 2022.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is not sure if she will seek re-election. Since the handover of British rule in 1997, she proposed a bill allowing extradition to mainland China. After that, she faced the largest and most violent wave of anti-government protests since the handover of British rule in 1997.
Beijing has promised that in its mini-constitution, the Basic Law, universal suffrage is the ultimate goal of Hong Kong. The law also stipulates that Hong Kong has extensive autonomy of the Chinese government.
Pro-democracy movements and Western countries say that political reforms have caused the city to develop in the opposite direction, giving the democratic opposition the most limited space it has had since the handover.
Since China promulgated the National Security Law in 2020, criminalizing what it considers to be subversion, separatism, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces, most of the pro-democracy activists and politicians have been trapped by it or for other reasons Arrested.
In addition, on Thursday, the Hong Kong police banned vigilance activities for the next month, marking the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This is the second consecutive year that the authorities have refused permission.
The Hong Kong Alliance, which has hosted its annual vigil for more than 30 years, said the police rejected the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The alliance said: “We will continue to fight for the right to legal mourning, June 4,” the alliance added that it plans to appeal.