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Hong Kong’s deputy chief, former police officer John Lee, has signalled his intention to contest an election for the town’s prime job, media has reported, which might see Beijing signing off on the primary safety official to run the worldwide monetary hub.
Carrie Lam, the embattled incumbent chief who has seen her reputation slide, stated on Monday she wouldn’t search a second time period, citing household concerns.
Hong Kong selects a frontrunner each 5 years underneath a course of that Beijing oversees behind the scenes. For the reason that metropolis reverted from British to Chinese language rule in 1997, there have been 4 chief executives, all of whom have struggled to steadiness the democratic aspirations of some residents with the imaginative and prescient of China’s Communist Social gathering leaders.
HOW DEMOCRATIC IS THE PROCESS?
Town’s 7.four million individuals haven’t any say in who leads them. Metropolis leaders are chosen in a vote by an election committee stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists, making certain that Beijing approves the choice. In a serious overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system final yr to fulfill Beijing’s calls for that solely “patriots” run the town, this committee was enlarged from 1,200 to 1,500 members. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Primary Regulation, states that full democracy is an “final intention” for selecting the chief.China’s reluctance to advance democratic reforms has lengthy been a lightning rod for the town’s opposition democrats and liberal-minded residents, stoking protest actions together with the “Umbrella Revolution” in 2014 and pro-democracy protests in 2019.
After the latest electoral overhaul, many observers say China’s promise to permit full democracy in some unspecified time in the future in future won’t ever be saved.
WHO ARE THE MAIN CONTENDERS FOR THE ELECTION?
The election was initially scheduled for March however was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak by which multiple million individuals have been contaminated, placing Lam underneath stress.
Not like earlier instances, when seemingly candidates have signalled their intention to run months upfront, no clear favorite has emerged, including to the uncertainty over the town’s future.
Chief Secretary Lee is a former Hong Kong safety chief and deputy police commissioner who was often known as an anglophile throughout British colonial rule.
In recent times, he has been forceful in enacting China’s harsher safety routine – with scores of democrats arrested, jailed or pressured into exile, civil society teams pressured to disband, and liberal media shops raided by police and shuttered.
Different potential contenders talked about by media embrace the town’s monetary secretary, Paul Chan, in addition to former chief Leung Chun-ying. None has introduced a bid.
WHAT ARE THE ARRANGEMENTS?
The election is scheduled for Might 8, with the brand new chief government to take workplace on July 1. Some new chief executives have been personally sworn in by senior Chinese language leaders. In 2017, the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese language rule, President Xi Jinping swore in Lam.
A nomination interval for candidates started on Sunday and can final for 2 weeks, with every candidate having to safe at the least 188 nominations from the 1,500-member election committee.
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