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Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021

Elections door open for 'patriots among pan-democrats'

Proposed changes to Hong Kong's electoral system are not meant to impose “uniformity,” and pan-democrats can still take part in elections and be elected, the deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Zhang Xiaoming, said Friday in Beijing at a State Council Information Office briefing.
“By stressing patriots administering Hong Kong, the central authorities are not trying to enforce uniformity in Hong Kong’s social and political life,” he said, RTHK reports.

“Excluding the unpatriotic, especially the anti-China destablising elements from the governance framework of the SAR, does not mean that all the opposition or the pan-democratic camp will be excluded from the governance framework, because anti-China destabilizing elements cannot be simply equated with pan-democratic candidates.

"There are also patriots among the pan-democrats and they can still participate in the elections and be elected in accordance with laws. Please rest assured that Legco would only be more broadly representative in the future, and one can still hear different voices, including criticisms of the government in Legco.

"All that would be missing are the circus performed by those who defile the oath-taking process, the filibustering and the ugly brawl," he added.

Zhang rejected suggestions that the changes are a step backward in Hong Kong’s democratic development, saying they are being made to curb subversion and infiltration by foreign forces.

He added the goal of achieving universal suffrage eventually for the chief executive and Legco remains unchanged.

The National People’s Congress on Thursday endorsed proposals to expand the mandate of the election committee, so it will not only select Hong Kong’s leader but also nominate and pick lawmakers.

Another deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Deng Zhonghua, said the proposed changes will improve communication between the executive branch of the government and the legislature, so they will better represent the overall interests of Hong Kong society.

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