Hong Kong violates democratic principles in 'selection' of new Chief Executive

Hong Kong violates democratic principles in 'selection' of new Chief Executive
Hong Kong authorities cracked down hard on pro-democracy protesters and have now quashed almost all dissent. Credit: Belga

The EU expressed regret on Sunday for the way in which the new head of the executive in Hong Kong, John Lee, was selected.

“The European Union regrets this violation of democratic principles and sees this selection process as yet another step in the dismantling of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle,” Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Lee, a former chief of security of Hong Kong, was chosen on Sunday at an election that was a mere formality, Belga News Agency reports. The election committee was made up of just under 1,500 persons, all “patriots” – faithful supporters of Beijing.

Last year, China imposed an electoral reform on the semi-autonomous territory which reduced the freedom of movement of the pro-democracy opposition to nothing. Beijing also tightened the noose around the huge grassroots movement that began in 2019.

Borrel made reference to this during his address on Sunday, pointing out that the number of voters on the election committee has been reduced substantially by the electoral reform.

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Only 0.6% of the inhabitants of Hong Kong are authorised to vote for the committee, which then designates its leader. The restricted number of eligible voters further weakens Hong Kong's limited democratic elements.

Speaking on Beijing's blatant suppression of dissent and democracy, Borrel said that "The European Union attaches great importance to the preservation of Hong Kong’s autonomy as well as respect for human rights, media freedom, democratic principles and the rule of law."

"The EU calls on Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to abide by their national and international commitments, notably the ultimate aim of electing the Chief Executive and members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage."

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