MADRID, Nov. 22 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Hong Kong Police have asked the population of the territory to temporarily suspend their protests during this reflection Friday before Sunday's local elections, which has not prevented further skirmishes in the city center.
The Hongkones elect 452 councilors from 18 districts of the territory in elections that occur after six months of protests of global impact against the authorities of the territory and, by extension, against the central government of Beijing. At the core is a suspended extradition law to China that violates, according to protesters, the judicial integrity of Hong Kong.
The elections have brought together the opposition in a united front that, for the first time, intends to dispute the favorable candidates for Beijing until the last seat. They are coordinating all their candidates to prevent fragmentation of vote.
The Hong Kong Police Commissioner, Tang Ping Keung, had called this morning for peace and “vote without interference,” but this has not prevented further skirmishes between protesters and police, this time on the bridge in front of the Hong Stock Exchange. Kong in Exchange Square, where up to a hundred people have congregated, according to the 'South China Morning Post'.
There is also the danger of direct violence against deputies and activist leaders, such as legislator Junius Ho, favorable to China or activist Jimmy Sham. Among all these acts, both the population and the councilors have denounced a climate of intimidation. “It is impossible for the elections to be fair with an atmosphere like this,” Councilor Clement Woo, a Chinese supporter, has lamented.
The Hong Kong Government, however, has decided to hold the elections. “We do not want to see a postponement of the elections if it is not absolutely necessary,” said Secretary for Constitutional and Continental China Affairs, Patrick Nip.
Protests in Hong Kong broke out last June against a controversial bill of extradition to mainland China. Lam finally withdrew the bill but the demonstrations have continued with greater demands, including universal suffrage.
Violence in Hong Kong has thus become the biggest challenge for Chinese President Xi Jinping, who came to power in 2012 and insists that the local government can resolve the crisis.
The protesters, angry at what they consider an interference of the Chinese government in the former British colony, have argued that they are responding to the excessive use of force by the security forces.
Beijing, meanwhile, has rejected any kind of intervention in Hong Kong affairs and blamed the situation on the influence of third countries.