This Sunday, Dec. 19, elections will be held in Hong Kong, the once democratic territory now dominated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). During the last year the Chinese regime managed to eliminate all opposition, imprisoning its leaders and legislating against them. Now from exile many Hong Kongers are urging a blank ballot in protest.
Sunday’s election should have been held 18 months ago. But the communist leaders at that time suspended them alleging that holding them would imply a risk for the population taking into account the pandemic scenario, despite the fact that the Chinese regime reported almost no contagions or deaths.
From that moment until now, the CCP has been in charge of eliminating any form of opposition, imprisoning its leaders inventing any kind of cause and developing legislations that allow the oppression of the communist regime and eliminate the possibility of democratic participation of the opponents.
“For the Hong Kong people there are not many choices now but to accept illegitimate elections. The parliament is going to be a rubber stamp for Beijing and this election carries no democratic element at all,” former lawmaker Ted Hui said from exile, The Guardian reported.
In the city of Hong Kong, with almost 8 million inhabitants, communism managed to eradicate the pro-democracy movement by imprisoning, silencing or forcing its leaders into exile abroad, under the National Security Law imposed in 2020.
From the controversial law imposed by the CCP, the central government in Beijing was authorized to establish a national security office in Hong Kong, whose task is to ‘confront subversion of state power, terrorism, separatism and conspiracies with foreign forces’.
The scope of these tasks is so abstract that it is ultimately up to the authorities to subjectively determine at their whim what failure to comply with these matters entails. This is how they have managed during the last months to position any dissident voice in illegality, silencing the opposition.
At the same time, this year the Chinese parliament voted in favor of a bill that considerably increases Beijing’s control over Hong Kong’s already weakened electoral system.
The electoral reform reduced democratic representation in the former British colony and introduced a mechanism through which the CCP examines the loyalty of politicians to the Chinese regime.
Thus, only so-called “patriots” can run for political office in Hong Kong, Fox News reported.
“Only those who are not against the government are ‘patriots,'” Hui says, referring to the new legislation.
The new system reduced the proportion of legislators Hong Kongers can directly elect from 53% to 22%. In addition, a Beijing-appointed election committee now has the power to fill 40 of the 90 seats with its own members.
Sunday’s vote follows a tumultuous period in Hong Kong, where 2019 saw large protests against Beijing’s interference in local affairs, sparking months of riots and police crackdowns.
Exiled leaders of the democracy movement have called on Hongkongers to vote blank this weekend or boycott the process, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Hong Kong seeks to maintain the appearance of a normal election, election banners are plastered on walls and railings around the city, showing one candidate after another promising to restore “stability” to Hong Kong.
Yet it is clear just by interpreting the legislation imposed over the last year that freedoms and democracy have been completely eliminated. Hong Kong has elections this Sunday, but its inhabitants only have the possibility to choose between members of the communist regime, responsible for the oppression and decadence of the former British colony.