Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, postponed the 2020 Hong Kong Legislative Council election for a year in an unprecedented move, executing the decision through Hong Kong Emergency Law.
Lam said she invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to hold off the vote, adding the move is backed by Beijing. China’s rubber-stamp legislate will decide how to fill the legislative vacuum caused by election postponement, she said.
“The Legislative Council election of 2020 will come to an end as the emergency law takes effect,” stated Erick Tsang, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.
The call was announced during a government press conference held Friday night. Lam cites a local surge in CCP virus cases as the reason for the one-year postponement. No specific date was provided aside from the notice of the delay.
“The announcement I have to make today is the most difficult one I have had to make in the past seven months,” she said at the press conference.
Lam also said the gathering of millions of staff and voters, including vulnerable elderly people, on polling day threatened the city’s public health amid a CCP virus. She also cited concern for alleged Hong Kong permanent residents stranded in mainland China and abroad due to travel restrictions, saying it would be “impossible” for them to return to Hong Kong for the election.
Friday marked the tenth straight day of triple-digit increases in COVID cases in Hong Kong, citing 121 novel cases.
AsiaWorld-Expo, the original ballot-counting venue for elections, is being used as a community isolation facility. As is the back-up counting station, the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre.
The announcement is a huge blow to pro-democracy parties, who are aiming for majority control in the city’s legislative council. Public opinion of pro-Beijing politicians has nosedived after the implementation of the National Security Law.
The postponement trails a mass disqualification of key Pro-Democracy candidates running for a seat in the upcoming Legislative Council election. Candidates were disqualified after being deemed unfit to uphold Hong Kong basic law or loyalty to Hong Kong’s government under China.
From The Epoch Times