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World NewsHong Kong legislative council elections, polls kick off Sunday

Hong Kong legislative council elections, polls kick off Sunday

Hong Kong police management entry to a road within the central Mongkok neighborhood throughout the demonstrations in response to China’s nationwide safety legislation.

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Hong Kong holds elections for the town’s legislature on Sunday — the primary for the Legislative Council for the reason that central authorities in Beijing led an overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral process this yr.

An analyst who spoke to CNBC predicted much less curiosity within the polls this time, as a result of these electoral adjustments have “narrowed” the alternatives for voters. The amendments that have been launched as a part of the electoral overhaul imply there will likely be fewer immediately elected representatives, and extra Beijing-approved officers.

Kurt Tong, accomplice at The Asia Group, expects voter turnout on the polls to be “rather low.”

“Really the choices are quite narrowed for voters, and as a result, I would expect the voter turnout to be rather low,” he advised CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday.

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“The character of the election has changed significantly from five years ago where there was really a sense that the legislative council election could have a major impact on the direction of the governance of the city. And that just doesn’t seem to be the case now,” Tong added.

Under the brand new electoral system, the overall variety of seats within the legislative has been elevated from 70 to 90. But the variety of immediately elected representatives has shrunk.

Previously, half the Council’s representatives have been immediately elected by common Hong Kongers. Under the brand new guidelines, about a fifth of them will be.

An Election Committee that beforehand held solely restricted powers will now hand-pick nearly half the Council’s representatives outright, and screen anyone who wants to run for the other seats.

Criticism of course of

Henry Tang, standing committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, argued to CNBC on Friday that the electoral adjustments are a step ahead for democracy. The CPPCC is China’s high political advisory physique.

He was responding to a query on whether or not Hong Kong has misplaced some autonomy, with the decreased variety of immediately elected seats.

“I would say that the democratic progress in Hong Kong has moved one further step forward,” the previous Hong Kong chief secretary for administration advised “Street Signs Asia” on Friday. “Because first, we have 90 members of the Legislative Council, instead of the previous 70. The composition has changed because we want more diversity and more inclusiveness.”

Tang, who was additionally the previous monetary secretary of Hong Kong, defined that the candidates comprise people from “many different backgrounds.”

CNBC’s Ted Kemp contributed to this report.

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