HK vote shows inclusiveness of democracy

来源: China Daily   时间:2021-12-30 10:24:28

The recent Legislative Council election in Hong Kong, the first under the revamped electoral system, embodies the inclusiveness and diversity of the special administrative region's democracy, according to legal experts.

The State Council Information Office held a briefing on Monday on the white paper on Hong Kong's democratic development under the framework of "one country, two systems". The paper was released on Dec 20 after Hong Kong held its seventh Legislative Council election.

Wang Zhenmin, vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said Hong Kong's new electoral system has proved to be a good one in practice and it is appropriate to summarize the new democratic system and the practical experiences from it.

In the past two years, everything the central government has done has been in the interests of people who regard Hong Kong as their home, he said.

All of the candidates in the recent election were patriots who love Hong Kong, said Wang, who is also director of Tsinghua University's Center for Hong Kong and Macao Studies. "It is up to those who have built Hong Kong to discuss Hong Kong issues, not those who serve foreign forces to stir up trouble," he said.

Han Dayuan, a member of the Hong Kong SAR Basic Law Committee of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, said the 90 members of the Legislative Council include clergy, school principals, university professors, lawyers, doctors and community workers and such broad representation reflects political inclusiveness and diversity.

In response to Western criticism of the low voter turnout in the election, Han said voter turnout does not necessarily determine the legitimacy of an election.

Voter turnout should not be regarded as the only criterion to observe elections, he said, adding that it is important as an indicator of voters' free will, but is not the only one.

More than 1.35 million registered voters cast their votes in the election earlier this month, which had a 30.2 percent voter turnout.

"We should not only focus on how many people vote, but also on who the candidates are and whether they can serve the interests of all social groups, the development of the society and, in particular, the interests of Hong Kong as a whole and its people," he said.

Citing voter turnout in local elections in Western countries, including New York where the turnout was around 20 percent, he said the number fluctuates in different places due to different factors.

Han also attributed the turnout in Hong Kong to the public's need to adapt to and understand the process of the new electoral system.

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