The 2020 Legislative Council General Election, scheduled on Sept 6, will be postponed for a year, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced on Friday, a move to further suppress the democratic camp after the national security law.
The announcement came on the same day the city recorded a “surge” of CCP virus infections. The CCP-controlled official number shows that over one-third of infections were reported over the past two weeks. The “official” death toll reached 27 on Friday, up from seven on July 10.
By Thursday afternoon, a total of 150 nomination forms had been received since the start of the nomination period on July 18, according to the electoral authority. The nomination period ended on Friday.
Right for the HKSAR government to postpone the LegCo election: China Daily editorial
Anyone trying to claim that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s decision to postpone the city’s Legislative Council election for a year is an expedient action of last resort, intended to prevent the opposition camp from achieving its goal of gaining a majority in the legislature for the first time, is doing so with an ulterior motive.
The election due to be held on Sept 6 could not have been held without risk because of the rapidly rising number of novel coronavirus infections in the SAR. That those seeking to politicize the decision are willing to turn a blind eye to pressure the latest infections are putting on the city’s health system — the latest outbreak accounts for about one-third of the total number of infections in the SAR since January — shows how little they care for the well-being of residents in the SAR.
The opposition camp which claims the world is “watching” Hong Kong— a notion that spookily echoes the quasi-warnings issued by the United States and its yapping lapdogs such as Australia and the United Kingdom — naturally opposes the delay.
But they and their backers who allege the pandemic is only an “excuse” for the decision would never admit that the illegal “primaries” held earlier this month probably facilitated the recent surge in infections, as the opposition camp gathered its flock together despite the government’s ban on public gatherings. No wonder the city has seen more than 100 new cases for the past eight consecutive days as of Wednesday.
Worse, the sources of nearly half of the new infections have not yet been found. Which means that the new cases in all likelihood represent only the tip of an iceberg.
Given the current situation, holding the LegCo election, the first city-wide public gathering since the virus hit the SAR in January, would expose people to the risk of infection, including vulnerable groups such as the elderly, which could put an unbearable strain on the city’s health system, which, we would like to take this opportunity to say, deserves credit for the low number of deaths caused by the virus, 24 as of Wednesday, to be precise.
The HKSAR government has made the right and responsible decision to postpone the election, which was made after extensive consultations with public health experts. It would have been the height of folly to proceed with the election at such a time.
At least 68 countries and territories have delayed national or regional elections due to the coronavirus since February, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. And as of May 27, 16 states in the United States had postponed primaries for the presidential election because of the pandemic.
Unquestionably, the HKSAR government has made the appropriate decision to safeguard people’s health. The attempts by the opposition camp and their foreign backers to suggest the opposite throws into sharp relief that it is not people’s rights they care about — certainly not the right to health — just the right they claim to play their political games.
Hong Kong’s Electoral Affairs Commission respects government’s decision to postpone LegCo election
The Electoral Affairs Commission (EAC) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday expressed understanding and respect over the HKSAR government’s decision to postpone the 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election of the HKSAR.
“The EAC learned that in view of the severe epidemic situation of COVID-19, the government has decided to postpone the 2020 LegCo election. The EAC understands and respects the government’s decision, and will coordinate on the practical arrangements for postponement,” said a spokesman for the EAC.
HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Friday that the 2020 LegCo election, originally scheduled for Sept. 6, 2020, will be postponed for one year.
The EAC wrote to the chief executive on July 28, expressing concerns over the impacts of the COVID-19 on the election, the spokesman noted.
Even though the Registration and Electoral Office of the HKSAR government implements various disease prevention measures at polling stations with its utmost efforts, large group gathering is still unavoidable, the spokesman pointed out.
The contact and interaction between the polling staff and electors are diametrically contrary to the advice of maintaining social distancing, and it is also hard for the staff at the counting station to observe social distancing, he added.
CCP Central gov’t liaison office supports HKSAR’s postponing of LegCo election
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Friday voiced understanding of and support to the HKSAR government’s decision to postpone the Legislative Council (LegCo) election due to the severe COVID-19 epidemic situation.
The decision was a responsible move to protect the lives and health of Hong Kong residents, the liaison office said in a statement.
As the epidemic is still developing in the HKSAR, the lives of Hong Kong residents and the public health were in great danger, the statement noted.
In conformity with the mainstream public opinions, the decision to postpone the LegCo election is in line with the Constitution, the HKSAR Basic Law and local laws of the HKSAR, the statement said, adding it represents the efforts of science-based epidemic control and embodies the sense of responsibility of protecting lives and health of Hong Kong residents.
According to statistics, since the COVID-19 outbreak, at least 68 countries and regions have decided to postpone national or local elections due to the epidemic, said the statement, noting that it is a consensus of the international community to respect science and put lives first.
The central government has paid close attention to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the HKSAR, and will offer all necessary support and aid to the HKSAR based on its needs to fully protect the lives and health of Hong Kong residents, said the statement.
The statement also expressed confidence in the HKSAR chief executive and government in leading the Hong Kong society to defeat the epidemic soon, with the firm support of the central government and the great assistance from the mainland.