Despite being a minority on the Election Committee, members of the pro-democracy camp still managed to make a difference against all odds in the upcoming chief executive election by throwing their weight behind the most popular frontrunners and allowing them to become official candidates.
And as election day draws closer, I believe it is time for the general public to flex their muscles. At the end of the day, it would be public opinion, rather than the pro-establishment camp that holds a majority of seats on the Election Committee, that would determine the election outcome.
Although the CE election will remain a small-circle process in which the vast majority of the public are not eligible to vote, our fellow citizens can still play a part by providing oversight and demanding fairness throughout the course of the exercise in order to make sure due process and procedural justice are fully observed.
Beijing has gone to extremes to interfere in the election by twisting the arm of pro-establishment Election Committee members and putting enormous pressure on them to make sure they vote for its handpicked candidate.
And my concerns are by no means unfounded, as was shown in previous District Council and Legco elections. Beijing’s allies in Hong Kong were working at full throttle interfering in our election process in order to manipulate the results.
This time Beijing’s interference has turned out to be even more ferocious and blatant because so much is at stake in this election.
As a matter of fact, Beijing should have learned a lesson from the last CE election, in which the Liaison Office in Hong Kong worked aggressively to interfere in the process in order to help Leung Chun-ying win.
However, the fact that Leung had relied heavily on Beijing’s support to win the election took an irreversible toll on the credibility of his administration and seriously undermined public confidence in “one country, two systems”. The damage to our society can be felt to this day.
Beijing will simply repeat the same mistake and eventually render Hong Kong ungovernable if it continues to meddle in our affairs.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Mar. 2
Translation by Alan Lee
[Chinese version 中文版]
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