Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow Friday said they were honoured to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a group of US lawmakers at a time when the city’s freedoms are “under serious attack by China”. A bipartisan group of four senators and eight members of the House announced Thursday that they had nominated the activists “in recognition of their peaceful efforts to bring political reform and self-determination to Hong Kong.” Wong, Law and Chow — who shot to prominence as leaders of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement — said they were honoured by the nomination, but warned that Beijing was targeting the freedoms enjoyed by residents of Hong Kong as a semi-autonomous part of China.Full Article: Hong Kong pro-democracy activists 'honoured' by Nobel nomination | AFP.com.
Articles about voting issues in the People’s Republic of China.
China: What Agnes Chow’s election ban means for Joshua Wong and youth politics in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post
Beneath her dewy, fresh-faced look and somewhat bashful smile, Agnes Chow Ting, 21, is a battle-hardened political savant as far as young Hongkongers go. The pro-democracy activist was active in a campaign six years ago to force the government to retract a plan to introduce compulsory national education in schools. In 2014, she was at the front lines of the Occupy protests seeking greater democracy. Recently, she renounced her UK citizenship and put her studies at Baptist University on hold – all in the name of becoming the city’s youngest-ever lawmaker. Chow was gunning to win the Hong Kong Island seat in the upcoming Legislative Council by-election, where four seats need to be filled. But last Saturday, she faced her biggest setback yet.Full Article: What Agnes Chow’s election ban means for Joshua Wong and youth politics in Hong Kong | South China Morning Post.
A group of Hong Kong lawyers yesterday condemned a ban on a democracy activist by the territory’s government to stop her from contesting a by-election, describing it as the suppression of free expression and a curb on voting. The weekend ban on Agnes Chow, a close ally of high-profile activist Joshua Wong, fuels wider fears of tightening political “red lines” by Beijing that could deny Hong Kong’s restive young people any political outlet beyond street protest. The 21-year-old Chow becomes the 13th politician barred from standing for office or disqualified from the legislature in recent years.Full Article: Hong Kong lawyers condemn ‘unlawful’ disqualification of candidate | World | Malay Mail Online.
China: Thousands sign petition against government bid to shorten voting hours | Hong Kong Free Press
The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) reasoned that the shortening of polling hours could reduce fatigue and neighbourhood disturbances, as well as allow results to be announced earlier. Currently, polls are open for 15 hours from 7:30am to 10:30pm. However, a study suggested this week that – if the government shortens voting time at the end of the day – pro-democracy voters would likely be affected the most. The bureau launched a public consultation for the proposal on November 13. The deadline for accepting views came on Friday.Full Article: Thousands sign petition against Hong Kong gov't bid to shorten voting hours | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP.
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.Full Article: Young democracy activist among Macau election winners - The Washington Post.
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.Full Article: Some voters remain apprehensive over region’s political system | MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報.
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.Full Article: Electoral rules may breach Basic Law, experts and candidates say | MACAU DAILY TIMES 澳門每日時報.
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.Full Article: Privacy commissioner slams election office's treatment of voter data following missing laptop incident | Hong Kong Free Press HKFP.
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.Full Article: Hong Kong democracy activists charged hours after election of new city leader | World news | The Guardian.
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.Full Article: ‘A selection, not an election’: Pro-Beijing committee picks loyalist to lead Hong Kong - The Washington Post.
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.”Full Article: Hong Kong chooses new leader amid accusations of China meddling | World news | 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.Full Article: Hong Kong faces 'selection not election' of China's favoured candidate | World news | The Guardian.
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.Full Article: Hong Kong Elections Approach Amid Growing Local Anxiety | Best Countries | US News.
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.Full Article: With 65,000 mock votes from a target of one million, does Hong Kong even care about its leadership 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 weekFull Article: Beware of privacy issues in mock online election | South China Morning Post.
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.Full Article: Unfair Hong Kong election sparks fresh democracy calls - Yahoo7.
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.Full Article: Hong Kong protest: Thousands march against Beijing.
China: Pro-democracy camp wins more than a quarter of seats on Hong Kong Election Committee | Hong Kong Free Press
The pro-democracy camp has seen a landslide in at least six sectors of Sunday’s Chief Executive Election Committee poll, and expects to win at least 325 seats in the 1,200-seat committee. The camp has won all seats in six professional sectors: social welfare, IT, health services, legal, education and higher education. The camp also gained almost all seats in the accountancy sector and the architectural sectors. In the medical sector, 85 people were running for 30 seats. The pro-democracy camp sent 19 candidates and all of them won. The camp also made some breakthroughs in sectors such as Chinese medicine, with three wins out of the 30 seats.Full Article: Pro-democracy camp wins more than a quarter of seats on Chief Exec. Election Committee | Hong Kong Free Press.
Authorities in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong are holding a veteran democracy activist under unofficial house arrest to prevent him from standing as independent candidate in forthcoming local elections to his district People’s Congress. Retired university lecturer Sun Wenguang, 82, has been unable to leave his home in Shandong’s provincial capital Jinan since last Friday. Video seen by RFA from last week showed him canvassing potential voters and handing out leaflets on the campus of Shandong University, surrounding by unidentified men that Sun refers to as “state security police.” In a later video, Sun is shown arguing with a man in a leather jacket who prevents him from getting into the lift outside his apartment, and asks him where he is going. “It’s none of your business where I’m going,” retorts Sun. “This is a violation of my personal rights; you are not even in police uniform. What department are you from?”Full Article: Chinese Democracy Activist Held Under House Arrest to Prevent Election Bid.