New election system leads HK toward democracy

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By Sun Lu

Now that the election to the seventh Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is over and the result has been declared, we can see the positive impact of the reformed electoral system and development of democracy in the SAR.

According to the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR, the Legislative Council is supposed to reflect Hong Kong people’s will to the greatest extent, and take measures to improve people’s livelihoods and facilitate good governance. But owing to loopholes and defects in the electoral system, radical forces both in Hong Kong and abroad had been using the LegCo elections as a battle. The loopholes helped disruptive elements to get elected to LegCo, where they subverted the proceedings and undermined the work of the SAR government.

Also, Hong Kong’s blind pursuit of Western-style democracy led to social divisions and vicious fighting, causing major crises including severe disruptions in governance.

Under the leadership of the central government, Hong Kong has carried out in-depth governance reforms over the past more than one year. For instance, it has introduced the National Security Law and reformed the electoral system, which ended the chaos and disorder in Hong Kong society.

The election to the seventh LegCo, the first LegCo election since the electoral system reform, marks a milestone in the implementation of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, which is the bottom line of political ethics and the biggest common divisor that can help Hong Kong society reach a consensus on important issues.

The subsector general election for the Hong Kong Election Committee, the first election under the new electoral system, was held in September, following which a new Election Committee embodying the “patriots administering Hong Kong” principle was established. The new Election Committee is made up of representatives from different sectors and strata of Hong Kong and thus enjoys broad representation.

Under the new election system, the nominating and qualification review committees will scrutinize all candidates to ensure they are patriots-by making them swear allegiance to the SAR and the motherland. The new election system therefore succeeded in keeping the anti-China and anti-Hong Kong elements away from the LegCo election on Sunday.

Yet the LegCo election was broadly representative, politically inclusive, balanced and fair, given that the candidates were elected by not only the Election Committee constituency, but also the functional and geographical constituencies.

The fact that the broadly representative Election Committee also nominates some Leg-Co members will help supplement the lack of representativeness from the functional and geographical constituencies under the current system, and will thus ensure balanced political participation, taking into account the interests of different sectors and safeguarding the overall interests of Hong Kong society.

The members of the seventh LegCo come from different political spectrums and sectors, and different economic groups, and thus cover all walks of life. In fact, in the run-up to Sunday’s election, the candidates promoted their visions and ideas on Hong Kong’s development by visiting voters, setting up street kiosks and participating in election forums. They strived to win the support of the voters by showcasing their expertise, explaining their political platform and ideas, and convincing them of their commitment to contribute to Hong Kong and Hong Kong residents’ well-being.

What voters in general care about is not the political positions of the candidates or their politicized lectures or debates, but which political platform offers better opportunities for economic development, and improve people’s livelihoods, and can help Hong Kong integrate into the overall development of the Chinese mainland.

The Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee adopted a resolution on Nov 11, which said the central authorities have taken a series of measures to address both the symptoms and root causes of the problems which have helped Hong Kong transition from the chaos of 2019 to good governance today, laying a solid foundation for advancing law-based governance and promoting the principle of “one country, two systems”.

Hong Kong will usher in a new era of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, and its executive and legislative organs will reshape their cooperation mechanism and interaction that will be dominated by efficiency and rational discussions. At the same time, a new type of democracy that serves the interests of both the motherland and Hong Kong will help the SAR more effectively practice “one country, two systems”.

-The Daily Mail-China Daily News Exchange Item