Macau voters have elected a young pro-democracy activist to the Chinese casino capital’s legislature, as opposition lawmakers expanded their presence at the expense of candidates linked to the gambling industry. The results released early Monday are a surprising sign of faith in young people with progressive ideas among Macau’s notoriously apathetic electorate. Official results showed that 26-year-old Sulu Sou won a seat in Sunday’s election for the city’s semi-democratic legislature, making him the city’s youngest-ever lawmaker, according to local news reports.
Articles about voting issues in the People’s Republic of China.
Around 57 percent of the registered voters cast their votes yesterday at 37 polling stations spread across the city. While many agree the voting process was easier than four years ago, some residents are still skeptical over Macau’s voting procedures, and others are unaware of Macau’s controversial voting system. Speaking to the Times, several voters criticized the SAR’s voting system, arguing that the 14 directly elected seats in the Legislative Assembly (AL) are not enough. They suggested that the 12 seats nominated by the functional constituency system should be reduced to allow for more directly elected seats. “There are not enough direct selections. It doesn’t make sense that the government can have that many appointed representatives,” said a 60-year old resident who refused to be identified.
Candidates and political analysts are criticizing the Electoral Affairs Commission for the Legislative Assembly Election (CAEAL), for creating confusion between the definitions of “propaganda activities” and the rights of candidates to inform the public of their agenda – another controversy in addition to the short amount of time given to candidates to promote themselves. A total of 25 teams, with an aggregate of 192 candidates, will contest the direct election for the Legislative Assembly (AL) on September 17. Six teams, with a total of 15 candidates will contest the indirect election. On August 1, the commission issued its second election guideline in a bid to regulate campaign promotional activities. However several candidates and political analysts expressed their belief that it is absurd for the commission to issue such guidelines.
China: Privacy commissioner slams election office’s treatment of voter data following missing laptop incident | Hong Kong Free Press
The Privacy Commissioner has said the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) contravened privacy rules after it lost an election computer containing the personal information of all voters. It has demanded improvements. The commissioner’s office launched an investigation after two computers were lost from a backup polling station for the chief executive election in March. It was discovered a day after the election that the two machines had disappeared from a locked room, despite there being no sign of a break-in. One of the lost computers contained the names, addresses, and the identity card numbers – considered private information – of all 3.78 million Hong Kong voters. The data was stored in an encrypted format and did not include telephone numbers and voting records.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.