China

Articles about voting issues in the People’s Republic of China.

China: ‘Nonsense’ reason for Hong Kong electoral data breach blasted | South China Morning Post

The office in charge of elections in Hong Kong was ridiculed on Monday for its “nonsensical” account of why it transported the personal data of nearly 3.8 million registered voters to a back-up venue for the chief executive ballot, only to have it stolen a week ago. The Registration and Electoral Office said the information was needed to check the identities of Election Committee members entering the venue at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Facing criticism that such reasoning made no sense because all that was required was a list of the 1,194 committee members tasked to pick the city’s leader instead of the entire electorate at large, the office admitted its procedures had been “inappropriate” in hindsight.
Grilled by lawmakers on the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee, chief electoral officer Wong See-man revealed that the follow-up apology to voters had cost taxpayers HK$5 million. Read More

China: Hong Kong democracy activists charged hours after election of new city leader | The Guardian

Hong Kong police have started a crackdown on pro-democracy lawmakers and activists, informing at least nine people they will be charged for their involvement in a series of street protests more than two years ago. The charges come a day after Carrie Lam was elected to be the city’s chief executive. Heavily backed by the Chinese government, she has promised to heal divisions in an increasingly polarised political climate; pro-Beijing elites and businesses have repeatedly clashed with grassroots movements demanding more democracy.  For nearly three months in 2014, protesters surrounded the main government offices and blocked roads in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district. While several high-profile cases were brought in the months after, the vast majority of protesters were not charged. Read More

China: ‘A selection, not an election’: Pro-Beijing committee picks loyalist to lead Hong Kong | The Washington Post

An elite election committee composed of Beijing loyalists chose a new leader Sunday for the 7.3 million people of Hong Kong: Carrie Lam, who is expected to follow the central government’s instructions to the letter. To become Hong Kong’s chief executive, Lam beat out John Tsang, a former finance secretary who enjoyed considerable popularity, according to opinion polls, and Woo Kwok-hing, a retired high court judge who never stood a chance. The three-person ticket was itself the product of tightly controlled, small-circle vetting. “We have a qualified electorate of millions, but I don’t have a vote, and most other people don’t have a vote,” said Anson Chan, who once served as Hong Kong’s top civil servant. Read More

China: Hong Kong chooses new leader amid accusations of China meddling | The Guardian

A small electoral college has begun voting for a new leader of Hong Kong amid accusations that Beijing is meddling and denying the Chinese-ruled financial hub a more populist figurehead better suited to defuse political tension. The majority of the city’s 7.3 million people have no say in deciding their next leader, with the winner chosen by a 1,200-person “election committee” stacked with pro-Beijing and pro-establishment loyalists. Three candidates are running for the post of chief executive on Sunday: two former officials, Carrie Lam and John Tsang, and a retired judge, Woo Kwok-hing. Lam is considered the favourite. Outside the voting centre, there were some scuffles between protesters and police. The protesters denounced Beijing’s “interference” amid widespread reports of lobbying of the voters to back Lam, rather than the more populist and conciliatory former finance chief, Tsang. “Lies, coercion, whitewash,” read one protest banner. “The central government has intervened again and again,” said Carmen Tong, a 20-year-old university student. “It’s very unjust.” Read More

China: Hong Kong faces ‘selection not election’ of China’s favoured candidate | The Guardian

Every newly elected leader of Hong Kong takes the oath of office in front of China’s president, below a giant red national flag of China, and the slightly smaller banner of the city. It is a tightly scripted event designed to shield Chinese officials from the embarrassment of dissenting voices. In Hong Kong politics, formality is everything, and many say the election for the city’s next leader which happens on Sunday will indeed be a formality. Most expect Beijing’s preferred candidate to be anointed despite her rival being by far the more popular choice. … However, only 1,194 people are able to cast a ballot, far less than the city’s 3.8 million registered voters. Those who have a say include all 70 members of the city’s legislature and some district politicians, business groups, professional unions, pop stars, priests and professors. Read More

China: Hong Kong Elections Approach Amid Growing Local Anxiety | US News & World Report

On a recent gray spring day, Joshua Wong took a break from the scrum of interviews he was granting by sheltering in Citic Tower, the downtown office building that overlooks the vast reclamation works taking place along this city’s harbor front. Wong’s role as one of the student leaders of the 2014 “Umbrella Movement,” sit-in demonstrations that unsuccessfully demanded greater public participation in the election of the city’s top public official, has earned him the role of international poster boy for democracy in Hong Kong. As this weekend’s election approaches for the chief executive, Hong Kong’s top government position, news media are interested in Wong’s views. Wong was born just a year before the United Kingdom returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule and theoretically should identify with a greater China more so than his parents and grandparents. But like so many in his generation who have grown up in Hong Kong, Wong sees himself different from the mainland Chinese, and this burgeoning sense of identity has Beijing rattled. Read More

China: With 65,000 mock votes from a target of one million, does Hong Kong even care about its leadership election? | South China Morning Post

The public’s sense of powerlessness and privacy concerns might explain the low turnout for the mock chief executive election poll, according to the organisers and a pan-democrat lawmaker. The remarks came after just 65,000 people voted in the mock ballot that opened on March 10 and ended on Sunday, well short of the organisers’ target of one million votes. IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok said organisers should assess why there was such a low turnout and tackle privacy concerns so the mock vote can become a better tool to gauge public opinion in the future. After consulting computer experts and other professional organisations, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data issued a second warning on Sunday, saying it had established that the organisers, when collecting voters’ personal data, had breached information security practices. Read More

China: Beware of privacy issues in mock online election | South China Morning Post

Benny Tai Yiu-ting of Occupy Central fame is set to relaunch a mock nomination and election of the chief executive. The so-called civil referendum uses a mobile app and a website to encourage people to nominate and vote for “candidates”. Critics including the privacy commissioner have expressed alarm. Tai’s previous ThunderGo mobile app debacle was accused by even some pan-democratic candidates in the last Legislative Council election of distorting the voting outcomes by favouring extremist candidates over more mainstream ones. Hong Kong’s unofficial chief executive election opinion poll PopVote back online next week Read More

China: ‘Unfair’ Hong Kong election sparks fresh democracy calls | AFP

The vote for Hong Kong’s new leader kicks off this week, but most of its 3.8 million-strong electorate will have no say in choosing the winner, prompting calls for an overhaul of a system skewed towards Beijing. It is the first leadership vote since mass pro-democracy protests in 2014 failed to win political reform and comes as fears grow that China is tightening its grip on semi-autonomous Hong Kong. As the first round of voting begins, the four candidates are wooing the public — dropping in to no-frills cafes to eat local dishes with ordinary folk. But to little avail. The winner will be chosen by a committee of 1,200 representatives of special interest groups, weighted towards Beijing. According to a count by local media, only around a quarter are in the pro-democracy camp. Read More

China: Thousands march in Hong Kong protest demanding voting rights | International Business Times

Almost 5,000 people marched through Hong Kong on New Year’s Day in protest against the government’s attempt to disqualify four pro-democracy lawmakers, according to a police estimate. Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous government has started legal proceedings against four recently elected legislators, who altered their swearing-in oaths to stage a protest against the Chinese government in Beijing. Their demonstration included flaunting a banner that read “Hong Kong is not China”, which used language that some have claimed was derogatory Japanese slang. Read More