The controversial reform of Hong Kong’s electoral system, intended to extinguish the city’s pro-democracy voices, was approved by China, giving Beijing veto power over the choice of candidates and ensuring that only “patriots” rule the city. The passage of the reform was reported by the Xinhua agency, at the end of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top of the legislative body of the Chinese Parliament, and the modification of the electoral system was promulgated in two different orders signed by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.

The changes to the electoral system approved today concern the method of selecting Hong Kong’s chief executive, the city’s highest authority, the method of forming the Legislative Council, the mini-parliament, and its voting procedures.

According to the sole Hong Kong delegate of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, Tam Yiu-chung, quoted by the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s electoral system reform plan was unanimously approved by 167 members of the organ.

In detail, according to the South China Morning Post, the new law provides that the Electoral Commission – which selects the chief executive, the highest office in the city – is guaranteed the possibility of choosing forty members of the Legislative Council, the mini-parliament of Hong Kong, which increases the number of its members from seventy to ninety. At the same time, however, the number of directly elected parliamentarians decreased sharply from 35 to twenty, while the members cast by the constituencies of the corporations, with a majority pro-Beijing, will make up a third of the Legislative Council, for a total of thirty seats.
Furthermore, the Electoral Commission is expanding from 1,200 current members, by another three hundred: among the new members there will be members of the pro-Beijing groups and of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the political advisors of Beijing, further strengthening the pro-Beijing China. As widely expected, however, the 117 Electoral Commission seats allocated to district councils, now largely in the hands of pro-democracy groups, have been eliminated. The number of members of the Commission that will have to screen the candidates for Parliament or the Electoral Commission remains to be clarified, to ensure that they do not pose a threat to national security, the subject of an ad hoc law imposed by Beijing last year and which put an end to the protests. pro-democracy in the city.

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