Beijing loyalist John Lee voted in as Hong Kong’s next leader after uncontested election | CBC News


John Lee was elected as Hong Kong’s subsequent chief Sunday, after successful over 99 per cent of votes forged by a largely pro-Beijing election committee.

Lee obtained 1,416 votes within the chief government election, far exceeding the 751 votes he wanted to win. The Election Committee’s practically 1,500 members forged their votes in a secret poll Sunday morning.

As the one candidate within the polls, Lee was anticipated to win, particularly since he had Beijing’s endorsement and final month obtained 786 nominations from members of the Election Committee in assist of his candidacy.

Lee will substitute present chief Carrie Lam on July 1.

Lam congratulated Lee in an announcement and stated she would submit the election outcomes to Beijing.

“The current-term authorities and I’ll guarantee a seamless transition with the Chief Government-elect. We are going to render all of the assist wanted for the belief of workplace by the brand new time period of presidency,” Lam’s assertion stated.

Solely ‘patriots’ allowed

The election adopted main adjustments to Hong Kong’s electoral legal guidelines final 12 months to make sure that solely “patriots” loyal to Beijing can maintain workplace. The legislature was additionally reorganized to all however remove opposition voices.

The frilly preparations surrounding the pre-determined consequence communicate to Beijing’s need for a veneer of democracy. Although they are going to vote in a secret poll, Hong Kong’s electors have all been fastidiously vetted.

Mainland China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Workplace of the State Council additionally congratulated Lee in an announcement, saying the “profitable election” proved that town’s new electoral system is “good” and consistent with the “one nation, two programs” framework that Hong Kong is ruled by.

The assertion added that the brand new chief government will lead the Hong Kong authorities and “individuals from all walks of life to forge forward in unity.”

The British handed Hong Kong over to mainland China in 1997 underneath the “one nation, two programs” framework, which promised town sure freedoms not discovered on the mainland, together with freedom of speech and meeting.

Critics say these freedoms are being eroded as Beijing has exerted larger management over the previous British colony lately.

Requires common suffrage

On Sunday morning, three members of the League of Social Democrats, an area activist group, protested the election by making an attempt to march towards the election venue whereas displaying a banner demanding common suffrage that will permit Hong Kongers to vote each for the legislature and the chief government.

“Human rights over energy, the individuals are larger than the nation,” the banner learn. “One individual, one vote for the chief government. Instantly implement twin common suffrage.”

One protester was handing out flyers earlier than police arrived and cordoned off the protesters and the banner. Police additionally searched protesters’ belongings and took down their private particulars, although no arrests have been instantly made.

Police usher the media as three members of the League of Social Democrats march on a road throughout a protest towards the choice technique of town’s chief government in Hong Kong on Sunday. (Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Pictures)

The professional-democracy camp in Hong Kong has lengthy demanded common suffrage, which they are saying is promised to town in its mini-constitution, the Fundamental Legislation. It was additionally a key demand within the 2014 Umbrella Revolution protests and 2019 anti-government demonstrations.

Lee as Hong Kong’s future chief has sparked concern that Beijing may additional tighten its grip on Hong Kong. He spent most of his civil service profession within the police and safety bureau, and is an outspoken and staunch supporter of a nationwide safety legislation imposed on Hong Kong in 2020 geared toward stamping out dissent.

His rise grew out of large anti-government protests in 2019 that spiralled into violent clashes. As safety secretary, he oversaw the police marketing campaign to confront protesters with tear gasoline and rubber bullets, then rounded a lot of them up for arrest later.

Safety legislation arrests

Greater than 150 individuals have been arrested underneath the safety legislation, which outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international forces to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs. Virtually all outstanding pro-democracy activists have been jailed, with others fleeing overseas or being intimidated into silence.

1000’s of residents have left town of seven.4 million individuals amid the 2019 protests and subsequent harsh pandemic restrictions, together with many professionals and expatriates.

In his election marketing campaign within the weeks main as much as Sunday’s polls, Lee pledged to enact long-shelved native laws to guard towards safety threats and vowed to extend housing provide on this planet’s costliest actual property market.

He additionally stated he would enhance town’s competitiveness and set a agency basis for Hong Kong’s improvement.

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