HONG KONG (AP) — Choose Hong Kong residents voted for members of the Election Committee that select town’s chief in polls Sunday that Chief Govt Carrie Lam known as “very significant” as the primary beneath reforms meant to make sure candidates with Beijing loyalty.
The Election Committee will choose 40 of 90 lawmakers within the metropolis’s legislature throughout elections in December, in addition to elect the Hong Kong chief throughout polls in March subsequent 12 months.
The almost 4,900 voters representing totally different professions and industries who went to polls Sunday beneath a heavy police presence will select amongst simply 412 candidates for 364 seats within the 1,500-strong Election Committee. Different seats have been uncontested or held by individuals chosen based mostly on their titles.
“As we speak’s Election Committee elections are very significant as it’s the first elections held after we have now improved the electoral system to make sure that solely patriots can take workplace,” Lam stated.
It’s not but identified if Lam will search reelection in March. She stated the brand new Election Committee will likely be broadly consultant because it included extra grassroots organizations and associations that symbolize Hong Kongers who reside and work in mainland China.
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In Could, the legislature amended Hong Kong’s electoral legal guidelines to make sure that solely “patriots” – people who find themselves loyal to China and the semi-autonomous territory – will rule town. The committee additionally was expanded to 1,500 members, from 1,200, and the variety of direct voters for committee seats was lowered from about 246,000 to lower than 8,000.
The restructured electoral course of ensures a overwhelming majority of the Elections Committee will likely be largely pro-Beijing candidates, who’re possible to decide on a chief government and almost half of lawmakers who’re aligned with the ruling Chinese language Communist Get together.
Sunday’s vote was happening at 5 polling stations closely surrounded by police. Native newspaper South China Morning Submit beforehand reported 6,000 law enforcement officials can be deployed to protect the polls, outnumbering the variety of voters.
Outcomes are anticipated Sunday night time.
4 activists from pro-democracy political get together League of Social Democrats staged a small protest close to the polling station within the Wan Chai neighborhood. They laid out banners criticizing the “small circle election” as having a pretense of representing public opinion.
The 4 have been stopped and searched by the police.
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