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Hong Kong: Lowest election voter turnout yet, pro-govt candidates register victory

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2021 03:09 IST


Hong Kong, December 21 (ANI): Hong Kong "patriots only" elections witnessed a record low voter turnout as pro-government candidates swept into the expanded legislature.
The elections were held under a revamped system ordered by Beijing which marginalized democrats, Hong Kong Free Press reported.
Around 1.3 million voters cast ballots on Sunday for a 30.2 per cent voter turnout - 5.6 percentage points less than the last historic low in the 1995 legislative election under British colonial rule.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said in a statement on Sunday that the new legislature would bring an era of "good governance" to the city.
Turnout is a central issue, as observers consider it a barometer of legitimacy in an election where pro-democracy candidates are largely absent, and a crackdown under a China-imposed national security law has jailed dozens of pro-democratic contenders who had originally wanted to run, and forced others into exile.
Under the electoral shake-up, the proportion of directly elected seats was reduced from approximately half to less than a quarter or 20 seats.
Forty seats were selected by a committee stacked with Beijing loyalists, while the remaining 30 were filled by professional and business sectors such as finance and engineering, known as functional constituencies, reported Al Jazeera. The latest results show that almost all of the seats have been taken by pro-Beijing and pro-establishment candidates.
Noting the outcome of the Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand have expressed grave concerns over the erosion of democratic elements of the Special Administrative Region's electoral system.
"We, the Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State, noting the outcome of the Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong, express our grave concern over the erosion of democratic elements of the Special Administrative Region's electoral system," read a joint statement released by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken."
Actions that undermine Hong Kong's rights, freedoms and a high degree of autonomy are threatening our shared wish to see Hong Kong succeed," the statement added. (ANI)

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