China approves sweeping electoral shake-up for Hong Kong – News 24-7 Live News 24-7 Live
China approves sweeping electoral shake-up for Hong Kong

China approves sweeping electoral shake-up for Hong Kong

The changes would see the number of directly elected representatives fall to 20 from 35 and the size of the legislature increase to 90 seats from 70 currently

China approved a sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported, drastically curbing democratic representation in the city as authorities seek to ensure “patriots” rule the global financial hub.

The measures are part of Beijing’s efforts to consolidate its increasingly authoritarian grip over the global financial hub following the imposition of a national security law in June, which critics see as a tool to crush dissent.

The changes would see the number of directly elected representatives fall to 20 from 35 and the size of the legislature increase to 90 seats from 70 currently, while an election committee responsible for selecting the chief executive will increase from 1,200 members to 1,500, Xinhua said.

The representation of 117 community-level district councillors in the election committee would also be scrapped and the six district council seats in the Legislative Council will also go, according to Xinhua.

District councils are the city’s only fully democratic institution, and almost 90% of the 452 district seats are controlled by the democratic camp after a 2019 vote. They mostly deal with grassroots issues such as public transport links and garbage collection.

The electoral restructuring was endorsed unopposed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, at the apex of China’s legislature, Xinhua reported.

News Source: The Hindu

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