Hong Kong on Monday declared the results of elections held under a new election system after China brought changes through its parliament early this month.
The elections were held to pick members of the 2021 Election Committee (EC) that has 1,500 seats.
“This is the first election held after improving Hong Kong's electoral system, symbolizing that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has reached a new milestone in the implementation of the principle of ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’ in the political system to ensure that the power of the HKSAR is in the hands of patriots, thereby promoting the realization of good governance in Hong Kong,” the regional government said in a statement.
It added the elections, held Sunday, saw 90% participation.
“364 EC members were elected and a total of about 4,380 voters voted,” the statement said.
The rest of the seats have been filled beforehand as they were either uncontested, appointed, or ex-officio positions.
Britain handed back Hong Kong to China in 1997 under the “one country, two systems” principle until 2047.
But after violent pro-democracy protests in 2019 following a bill that could have allowed criminals to be extradited to mainland China, Beijing stepped up its influence.
In July 2020, it passed a National Security Law and has now introduced a new election system.
China’s National People's Congress (NPC) brought changes to the electoral system in Hong Kong early in March following which the NPC Standing Committee adopted the amendments to the Basic Law, that governs relations between China and Hong Kong, on March 30.
- Election Committee to pick chief executive, others
The EC nominates and elects the chief executive besides nominating the candidates for the Legislative Council (LegCo) election and electing 40 LegCo members.
“This new constitutional function will facilitate rational interaction between the executive authorities and the legislature, and effectively enhance governance efficiency,” the government claimed.
“The new electoral system has laid down a solid foundation and with the support of the general public, we believe Hong Kong is able to fully and accurately implement the principle of 'one country, two systems' and maintain long-term prosperity and stability.”
The term of the EC office will commence on October 22 and end on October 21, 2026.
The EC comprises members from five different sectors, including industrial, commercial, and financial sectors; different professions; grassroots, labor, religious and other sectors; members of the Legislative Council, representatives of district organizations and other organizations; and Hong Kong deputies to the NPC, Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and representatives of Hong Kong national organizations.