The upcoming sub-sector elections for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Election Committee will create an administrative team of patriots who will take responsibility for local governance and integration into national development, experts said.
Elections for the electoral commission sub-sector will take place on Sunday. The vote will be the first since the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislature, passed a decision in March on improving Hong Kong’s electoral system to secure “patriots running Hong Kong.” .
As part of the reform, the electoral committee was enlarged to 1,500 members representing five sectors and given more powers, ranging from the election of the chief executive of the city to the appointment of members of the Legislative Council.
Followed by polls for the electoral committee, elections for the Legislative Council, which were delayed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place in December and the election for the chief executive is expected to take place in March. .
Tian Feilong, associate professor at Beihang University Law School in Beijing, said polls for the Election Commission will reflect the principle of balanced participation as required by the Basic Law.
Under the premise of the “Patriots Ruling Hong Kong”, the election will focus more on political issues relating to Hong Kong’s development and eliminate the excessive politicization, extremism and populism seen in previous elections.
He said the stable development of Hong Kong needs a team of patriots who support the country’s integration plan.
The central government on September 6 unveiled a plan to expand neighboring Hong Kong economic zone from Qianhai to Shenzhen, Guangdong province, from 14.92 square kilometers to 120.56 square kilometers in an effort to strengthen ties. between Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Macao to boost technology, medical and financial industries.
Stronger government is needed
The Qianhai Plan is another important step in boosting the integration of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Great Bay region, a major national economic development strategy. In such a scenario, Tian said Hong Kong needs a stronger and more efficient government and Legislative Council to meet the demands of national strategies and participate in the overall development of the country.
“This new election is the corresponding institutional support for improving governance requirements. The objective of electoral system reform is to ensure the stability, quality and order of democratic development in Hong Kong. We hope that this will be achieved in this election, ”he added.
The electoral committee will also be more broadly representative and democratic. Zhang Jian, director of the Hong Kong and Macao research section of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said the committee’s membership had increased from four to five sectors, adding youth representatives and members of the national organizations, grassroots and trade union associations.
This broader representation will help overcome the excessive focus on political issues seen in past elections and move on to broader issues that concern the city’s future development.
“We have seen many ex-officio members actively participate in the elections by taking to the streets to gather the opinions of the voters and listen to the opinions on the functioning of the future electoral commission,” he said.
In the new electoral system, ex officio members of the Election Committee include Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Zhang said this election will be important as it is the first since Hong Kong experienced unrest in 2019, showing that Hong Kong society has overcome its long-term political differences and returned to the development path.