China’s sweeping overhaul of Hong Kong’s election system will give national security bodies vast power over who can run for office, a move that could sideline the pro-democracy opposition for years to come.
The changes were approved Tuesday by a committee of the Communist Party-controlled National People’s Congress to give Beijing an even stronger legislative majority there. Beijing and its handpicked local leaders now have vast powers to block any opposition candidate China deems disloyal.
Fewer elected seats: The move slashes the proportion of directly elected seats to less than a quarter from half. Forty seats on the 90-member legislature will be chosen by an election committee, a pro-Beijing body.
Vetting: Any potential candidate to become a lawmaker will first be investigated by the Hong Kong police and the city’s national security committee. Their reports would be handed to a new vetting committee, whose decisions on qualifying candidates cannot be appealed in court.
Courtesy – NYT