China finally decided to drastically reform the electoral system in Hong Kong on Tuesday. The number of parliamentary seats will be increased from seventy to ninety, while citizens will be allowed to directly elect twenty deputies. Previously there were 35.
The reforms are seen as a way to further marginalize the pro-democracy opposition in the city. An electoral body, the Election Commission, will soon decide who will go for the 40 parliamentary seats that will not be allocated through the elections. This college is seen as pro-Beijing and also chooses the highest administrative officer in the city.
The composition of the election commission will also be modified. In that electoral college, there are now 117 local politicians from Hong Kong, but their seats will expire, according to politician Tam Yiu Chung. These politicians are directly elected and often belong to the opposition camp.
Everyone who wants to participate in the elections must also undergo some form of inspection. Then a committee checks whether the candidates have the correct political opinions. Politician Tam says the police State Security Administration is also involved. It will provide information about the candidates.
The most radical electoral reform since 1997
The Standing Committee of the Chinese Parliament decided unanimously to approve the plans. Then there was a big applause, Tamm politician told the newspaper South China Morning Newspaper. According to state media, President Xi Jinping has also approved the reforms.
According to the newspaper, this is the most radical and controversial reform of the electoral system in the capital since 1997. The United Kingdom handed over Hong Kong to the Communist People’s Republic that year. She promised that the capital would acquire the status of self-government for another half-century.