CHINA NOW STACKING THE PARLIAMENT WITH NON ELECTED BODIES
Beijing passes new ‘patriot’ election law for Hong Kong that restricts opposition
China’s government has passed a new law that will drastically restrict the right of Hong Kongers to stand for election and reshape the city’s parliament, further entrenching Beijing’s power over the supposedly semi-autonomous territory.
In a unanimous and unsurprising decision Tuesday, the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp parliament, endorsed proposed changes to how Hong Kong lawmakers and the city’s leader are chosen.
Prior to these changes, Hong Kong’s 70-seat legislature was more or less split between directly elected seats and so-called functional constituencies, seats chosen by trade and industry bodies that usually favor allies of Beijing. In theory, opposition parties could win a majority in the body, by taking almost every elected seat and a handful of functional constituencies, enabling them to have a major say in how the city is governed.
From Tuesday, that will no longer be possible. Under the new system, the legislature will expand to 90 seats, with 40 of those to be chosen by a newly empowered, mostly government-appointed Election Committee.
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