The European Union on Monday expressed concern about the “violation of democratic principles and political pluralism” in the parliamentary elections in Hong Kong on Sunday.
“In the Legislative Council elections, the number of seats directly elected by Hong Kong residents decreased. The fundamental rights of Hong Kong citizens have also been undermined by threats to take legal action against those who request not to participate.” Declaration by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.
The head of European diplomacy also recalled the arrest of 47 “defenders of democracy” in January 2021 for their role in the July 2020 primaries Charges have been arrested, “he complained.
For this reason, the European Union also believes that the arrests of these people have “effects” on the number of candidates in parliamentary elections.
Similarly, the European panel has highlighted the heightened “pressure on civil society” due to the breakup of conferences of trade unions and human rights defenders – including Amnesty International – and including freedom of the press due to the closure of the Apple newspaper ‘Daily’.
“The prolonged preventive detention of some people involved in nonviolent acts is another sign of the continued curtailment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong,” said Borrell, who also noted the need to ensure the independence of the judiciary. “.
Thus, the EU sees in these elections and in social pressure and against human rights “a further step towards dismantling the principle of ‘one country, two systems’ agreed between the Chinese and Hong Kong governments”.
“The EU will monitor developments closely, including the election of the Executive Director scheduled for March 2022. The EU calls on the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to comply with their national and international obligations, in particular the obligation to democratic representation through universal suffrage, ”said Borrell.
Earlier, Hong Kong Executive, Carrie Lam, applauded the holding of the elections despite the low turnout of just 30 percent in what many have described as “patriots only”.
“If we only talk about participation, it is a little lower than it has been in the past. But you cannot say that there are no important elections and that they do not have the support of the citizens when 1.35 million people have voted, ”he said during a press conference after the first results became known, the one claimed give large majority of Beijing-related candidates.
With that in mind, he has made sure that in a system that does not force the population to vote, the percentage of the registered population is more than sufficient, as determined by the local radio RTHK.
Although he said he did not know why thousands of people chose not to vote, he said that he does not expect everyone to agree to the legislative reforms introduced last year and that, according to the opposition, they are aimed at dissidents to silence and strengthen Beijing’s power over the region.
The electoral reform passed earlier this year includes increasing the number of seats in the Hong Kong Parliament from 70 to 90 and allowing the newly expanded city electoral committee to appoint 40 city MPs.
Some MPs, such as Priscilla Leung Mei Fun and Junius Kwan Yiu Ho, were elected by the committee. The new Legislative Council will include new faces such as Tang Fei, Vice President of the Hong Kong Teacher Workers Federation, Nixie Lam, a member of the All China Youth Federation, and Wendy Hong, who ran for the first time in the elections.
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issued a statement welcoming the results of the elections, stressing that they highlight the progress and benefits of the new electoral system, which is “a successful practice of Hong Kong-style democracy”.
However, countries in the international community – such as the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – have raised concerns about the “erosion of democratic elements” in the Chinese region as a result of the elections.
These countries are joined by G7 members – Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and the UK – who, according to a statement, described the process as “undermining the democratic elements of the Hong Kong electoral system” from the group.