Hong Kong – John Lee, a firm stance security chief who supervised a crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy development, was elected as the city’s next chief on Sunday in a vote cast by a mostly pro-Beijing committee.
Lee was the only applicant and won with more than the vast majority of the vote which almost all 1,500 committee individuals were carefully vetted by the government in Beijing.
He will replace the current leader, Carrie Lam starting July 1. Her five term was marked by immense pro-democracy protests calling for a resignation, a security crackdown that has suppressed practically all dissent, the recent covid wave that overpowered the health system – occasions that have sabotaged Hong Kong’s standing as a worldwide business center within Western-style freedoms.
“I look forward to all of us starting a new chapter together, building a Hong Kong that is caring, open and vibrant, and a Hong Kong that is full of opportunities and harmony,” Lee said in his victory speech.
Lam saluted Lee in a proclamation and noted she would present the political decision results to Beijing.
The election followed significant changes to Hong Kong’s electoral regulations last year to ensure that faithful ‘patriots’ loyal to Beijing can take office. The elaborate plans encompassing the predetermined outcome speak to Beijing’s need for a majority rule government. The committee members casted a ballot in secret, and Lee’s 1,416 votes were of the most support ever in the city’s top leadership role.
“Without resistance, Lee would probably have a simpler time governing Hong Kong when compared to Lam,” said Ivan Choy, senior speaker at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Department of Government and Public Administration.
“A major reason for easier governance is that the electoral system has changed,” he continued. “In the legislature and the election committee, there is almost no political opposition and the political spectrum is concentrated towards the pro-establishment camp. With no democrats, it will be easier for the chief executive to govern as there are fewer checks and balances,”
The European Union’s international policy chief Joseph Borrell said that Lee’s political decision “violates democratic principles and political pluralism in Hong Kong.”
On Sunday morning, three members from the League of Social Democrats, a local extremist group, protested the election by endeavoring to walk toward the electoral venue whilst showing a flag requesting universal suffrage that would allow Hong Kongers to cast a ballot both for the council and the chief executive.
‘Human rights over power, the people are greater than the country,’ the banner read. “One person, one vote for the chief executive. Immediately implement dual universal suffrage.”
One protester was passing out flyers before police showed up and cordoned them off. Police additionally looked through the protesters’ possessions and wrote down their personal details, however they made no prompt arrests.
The pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong has long demanded universal suffrage, which they say is guaranteed in its mini-constitution, the Basic Law. It was likewise a critical interest during massive protests in both 2014 and 2019. Lee’s job as Hong Kong’s next commander and chief has stirred up worry that Beijing could further tighten its hold. He spent the majority of his civil service profession in the security department and with police, and is a big fan of public safety regulation forced on Hong Kong in 2020 to get rid of dissent.
As security secretary during 2019 conflicts among demonstrators and police, he managed the utilization of rubber bullets and tear gas while arresting that snuffed out additional protests. More than 150 individuals have been captured under the security regulation, which outlaws terrorism, secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces in the city’s affairs. Nearly all noticeable pro-democracy activists have been imprisoned, with others escaping abroad or being threatened into silence.
Thousands of occupants have left the city of over 7 million people in the midst of the 2019 protests and ensuing harsh pandemic restrictions, including numerous expatriates and professionals.
In his political race in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s surveys, Lee promised to authorize long-retired local legislations to safeguard against security dangers and promised to increase housing supply in the world’s most costly housing market.
He likewise said that he’d work on the city’s competitiveness and set a strong foundation for the development of Hong Kong.