Hong Kong delays election due to surge in infections

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong leader, has postponed Hong Kong election into legislature scheduled for 6th September by a year citing surge in coronavirus infections as the reason.

The decision came following disqualification of 12 pro-democracy candidates from running for what authorities said was their opposition to the new China security law imposed on Hong Kong.

This scenario has raised doubt with many who hold a view that coronavirus pandemic might not be the primary reason for the postponement.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, while expressing his view on the move said, “Postponing the September elections for a year is a cynical move to contain a political emergency, not a public health one.”

“This simply allows Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam to deny Hong Kong people their right to choose their government,” added Sophie.

Also doubtful of the decision was secretary-general of the League of Social Democrats, Avery Ng, who said that the move was a plan to prevent citizens from voting against the government.

“Obviously the Chinese Communist Party is using COVID-19 as a cover to stop Hong Kongers from voting against the government and democrats’ potential majority win,” said Avery.

“Together with the mass disqualification of candidates, the CCP … only allows an election in which they can control the outcome to take place,” he added.

While trying to establish a reason for the move, Lam said that there was no any political attachment to it, rather it was meant to safeguard public health.

She added that she needed to act on an emergency law for the postponement to hold.

She however stated that filling up the vacuum in the legislature is a decision to be made by China’s parliament.

“We have 3 million voters going out in one day across Hong Kong, such flow of people would cause high risk of infection,” she said.

Speaking about the move, Janis Chow, a Hong Kong resident expressed disappointment over the denial of their right to vote.

“I anticipated it, because of this year’s social movements, we already anticipated that the government wouldn’t give us the right to let us vote.

“I’m disappointed but I was ready for it,” Janis said.

Hong Kong, a former British colony returned to China under a “one country, two systems” in 1997 which was supposed to guarantee freedom of the city, but the new China security law imposed on Hong Kong undermine the autonomy of the city, according some critics,

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