Beijing loyalist John Lee voted in as Hong Kong’s subsequent chief after uncontested election



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

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

“I sit up for all of us beginning a brand new chapter collectively, constructing a Hong Kong that’s caring, open and vibrant, and a Hong Kong that is stuffed with alternatives and concord,” Lee mentioned in his victory speech.

Lee will substitute present chief Carrie Lam on July 1.

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.

Lam congratulated Lee in a press release and mentioned she would submit the election outcomes to Beijing.

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

Solely ‘patriots’ allowed

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

The flowery preparations surrounding the pre-determined end result communicate to Beijing’s want for a veneer of democracy. Although they are going to vote in a secret poll, Hong Kong’s electors have been all rigorously vetted.

The Chinese language authorities’s liaison workplace in Hong Kong additionally congratulated Lee in a press release and mentioned the election was carried out in a “honest, simply and orderly method in accordance with legal guidelines and laws.”

“Lee acquired many nominations and was elected with a excessive variety of 1,416 votes. This isn’t solely the solemn alternative of the election committee, but in addition a powerful expression of public opinion,” the assertion learn.

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

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

The British handed Hong Kong over to mainland China in 1997 beneath the “one nation, two techniques” framework, which promised the 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 higher management over the previous British colony lately.

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Requires common suffrage

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

“Human rights over energy, the persons are higher than the nation,” the banner learn. “One particular person, one vote for the chief govt. 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 in opposition to the choice strategy of the town’s chief govt in Hong Kong on Sunday. (Dale de la Rey/AFP/Getty Photographs)

The professional-democracy camp in Hong Kong has lengthy demanded common suffrage, which they are saying is promised to the town in its mini-constitution, the Primary Regulation. 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 huge anti-government protests in 2019 that spiralled into violent clashes. As safety secretary, he oversaw the police marketing campaign to confront protesters with tear fuel and rubber bullets, then rounded a lot of them up for arrest later.

Safety legislation arrests

Greater than 150 folks have been arrested beneath the safety legislation, which outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with overseas 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.

Hundreds of residents have left the town of seven.4 million folks 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 in opposition to safety threats and vowed to extend housing provide on this planet’s costliest actual property market.

He additionally mentioned he would enhance the town’s competitiveness and set a agency basis for Hong Kong’s growth.

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