Translator: EA; Reviewer: Wencheng
Many Hong Kong media quoted news that the government is studying measures to allow Hong Kong people living in the Greater Bay Area to vote.
According to [Stand News] on October 8th, the democratic legislators held a press conference this afternoon in response to the incident, Hu Zhiwei, the convener of the democratic camp and a member of the Democratic Party’s legislative council, criticized the government’s approach to radically change the existing electoral system in Hong Kong, “obviously for the establishment camp to build momentum, at all costs to win”, warning that the measure will appear vote planting and other actions, the consequences will be endless.
News from [Now News] also pointed out that Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address published next Wednesday will propose to allow eligible voters to vote in the Mainland. Polling stations will be set up in certain cities for the Legislative Council election as soon as next year.
According to a report from [Hong Kong 01], not only Hong Kong residents living in the Greater Bay Area, but also Hong Kong residents in Shanghai, Beijing and other places will be able to vote remotely. The goal will be implemented by next year’s Legislative Council election.
In response to the incident today, Hu Zhiwei believes that the government intends to allow Hong Kong residents living in the Greater Bay Area to vote in the Greater Bay Area, changing the definition of “usually residing in Hong Kong” in the qualifications of voters. He also quoted reports saying that not only the Greater Bay Area will have 9 voting stations, but in the future, other major mainland cities such as Beijing and Shanghai will be able to set up voting stations for Hong Kong people to vote. He criticized the practice of “obviously creating momentum for the establishment camp.” The government would not hesitate to change the fundamentals of the electoral system to ensure that it would not be challenged and that the establishment camp would not be disadvantaged. Hu Zhiwei believes that the core reason for the government’s plan to allow Hong Kong people in the Mainland to vote is “fear of losing”. Just like this postponed election, he believes that the fairness of the entire election will be questioned.
Guo Rongkeng, Citizen Party member of the legal profession, believes that candidates should have the right to contact voters and win their support. If, as reported, there are 500,000 Hong Kong people in the Greater Bay Area, but candidates cannot contact the voters in the Greater Bay Area, who account for more than 10% of all voters in Hong Kong, the political platform and concept will seriously exploit the rights of a candidate.
He pointed out that there is no fair and open electoral system in the Mainland. “Go to the Mainland, Lin Zhuoting and Hu Zhiwei, can they hold an election forum with Yang Yueqiao in Foshan in the Greater Bay Area, or gather?” He asked how the democrats could send 500,000 leaflets which related to the concept of democracy and freedom, “The Mainland is not allowed to even speak”, and pointed out that from the perspective of candidates, this would be an unfair election.