NPC's LegCo postponement; HK democracy denied
Updated: Oct 20, 2020
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The 2020 Hong Kong (HK) Legislative Council election was originally scheduled on 6 September 2020 until it was postponed by the government for a whole year to 5 September 2021.
On 31 July 2020, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that she was invoking [the colonial era] Emergency Regulations Ordinance to postpone the election under the emergency powers granted to her by it, citing the recent resurgence of the COVID-19 cases, adding that the move was supported by Beijing.
Despite Lam's denial of any political calculation, the delay was seen by pro-democrats as a blow to them, who aimed to achieve a "35+" majority (obtaining more than 35 out of the 70 seats in the Legislative Council) by riding the 2019 District Council landslide on a wave of massive protests against the government and concerns about the sweeping new national security law [illegally] imposed by CCP authorities to thwart opposition momentum and neutralise the pro-democracy movement.
Just prior to the announcement, 12 opposition candidates were disqualified from running in the election and four ex-members of pro-independence student group 'Studentlocalism' aged 16 to 21 were arrested under the new national security law for making pro-independence posts on social media.
On 11 August the National People Congress Standing Committee unanimously passed a decision to extend the incumbent 6th Legislative Council term 'for no less than one year' [which means likely it will be extended further!].
However, it did not explain the legal basis for the extension which was in contradiction to the term limit stipulated in Article 69 of [HK's] the Basic Law, neither did it mention the status of the four incumbent legislators who were barred from running by the returning officers in July.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam nevertheless expressed "heartfelt gratitude" to the NPCSC which she said "demonstrates once again the care and support of the Central Government for the HKSAR."
Legal scholar Eric Cheung criticised Beijing's decision as it contravened Article 69 of the Basic Law, showing that Hong Kong no longer adopted the Basic Law and common law principles, but was implementing Beijing's comprehensive jurisdiction through "the legal system with Chinese characteristics". Cheung said "there's no check and balance" against the NPCSC and its "brilliant tactic" to cause in-fighting within the pro-democracy camp on whether to boycott the legislature or not. HK delegate to the National People's Congress Ip Kwok-him conceded that the decision is inconsistent with the Basic Law Article 69 but argued that it brought "the least shock" to the SAR. Pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung defended the NPCSC decision as constitutionally valid. Leung also said Beijing's decision was giving a chance to four disqualified pro-democrat legislators as "moderate and mild" and warned them to "better behave themselves" from now on.
WTPOHK notes that on 6 September 2020 the number of new cases of COVID-19 was only 6 people and that 30 days prior to the elections the numbers of new cases were relatively low. Therefore, the decision to delay LegCo election was entirely political!
Despite the NPC 'interpretation' clearly violating HK's Basic Law does this leave the door open to HK Court action of any key decisions made by this illegal LegCo? Increasingly all protest battles are in Court!
Practically how can LegCo complete any work if instead of sitting for 4 years it only sits for 1 year?
We know there have been mumblings of a massive and extremely costly Lantau land reclamation project that mainland Chinese companies want to be involved in - just like the other HK 'white elephants' involving mainland contractors HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and HK's high-speed train.
Lantau Tomorrow Vision (明日大嶼願景) is a development project in Hong Kong launched by Chief Executive Carrie Lam in her 2018 policy address which includes the creation of a third core business district by constructing artificial islands with a total area of about 1,700 hectares through massive land reclamation near Kau Yi Chau and Hei Ling Chau off the eastern waters of Lantau Island. The project has met with controversy and opposition for its high cost of estimated HK$500 billion (US$63.8 billion) – amounting to half of the city's fiscal reserves, as well as environmental concerns!
What we are 100% sure of is the absolute corruption and power of CCP - and the willingness of treasonous Carrie Lam to try her best to hand over HK's Public Purse to CCP!
And then there are the problems and costs of rising sea levels globally, COVID-19 treatment and debt, loss of revenues from losing US special trade status and HK's global ranking as an international financial centre, etc!
As always CCP and HK government are going hell for leather the wrong way on a one-way road to nowhere!
CCP has to keep their corrupt thugs in pots of cash - at a time when cash is in short supply - or everyone will abandon the sinking CCP ship to go raid, murder, pillage and plunder somewhere else! CCP has to keep a country with 1.4 billion people working, fed, clothed, educated, housed, etc. - while more than 600 million Chinese in China earn less than 1,000 Yuan (=US$146) per month. It costs a lot of money for CCP to bribe its way towards the top of the international food chain - just ask the 600 million Chinese in China who face poverty! CCP is finding the democratic world is increasingly turning against it because of its democracy, human rights abuses and COVID-19 global pandemic - today there is no global economy to speak of! So.... CCP is unable to open up internally nor externally....!
HK people do not want to pull CCP out of the pickle jar they wormed themselves into! Just leave them alone to pickle in their own juices!
5 September 2021 seems a good date for the next LegCo election - although it may be even better to wait just a few years for CCP to fully collapse and be replaced by a multi-party democracy!!
In many ways delays in LegCo elections because of CCP and HK government's politicization of COVID-19, etc. works into the hands of HK protesters!