- Title: Hong Kong opposition kicks off primary elections under shadow of security law
- Date: 11th July 2020
- Summary: VARIOUS OF WONG DISTRIBUTING LEAFLETS AT STREET BOOTH VARIOUS OF PRO-DEMOCRACY LAWMAKER CLAUDIA MO SPEAKING AT STREET BOOTH (SOUNDBITE) (English) PRO-DEMOCRACY LAWMAKER, CLAUDIA MO, SAYING: "Well, it just meant to be a threat, it is meant to send around some chilling effect, telling Hong Kong people not to vote or you could be breaking the law. And it is very sleazing on the part of the government. How come we don't have the voting right? And we're not claiming that the results of this polling would be legally binding, right? how come the people cannot express their political wishes?"
- Embargoed: 25th July 2020 09:21
- Keywords: Beijing China Chinese Communist party Hong Kong Hong Kong protest Legislature democracy national security law primary election
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: Hong Kong
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA003CMD5NPJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hong Kong's opposition camp set up polling booths across the Chinese-ruled city on Saturday (July 11) for primary elections aimed at selecting democracy candidates who stand the best chance of success in Legislative Council elections in September.
The primaries come less than two weeks after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the Asian financial hub, stoking concerns that wide-ranging freedoms not seen in mainland China will be crushed.
The law punishes what China describes broadly as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison and allows mainland security agents to operate officially in Hong Kong for the first time.
Prominent pro-democracy figure Joshua Wong, who is one of the candidates in the primary election, urged residents to vote to show their resistance toward Beijing.
The election, which is only for the opposition camp, seeks to bolster the chance for democracy candidates to achieve a 35-plus majority in the 70-seat legislature in polls on September 6, potentially giving them power to block government proposals.
Althou gh the city's secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs has warned opposition parties the election could breach the new national security law and election laws, more than 59,000 people have casted their vote as of 0701GMT, according to the organiser Power for Democracy.
Decem Chan, 58, one of the local residents who queued outside a voting station in Cheung Sa Wan, told Reuters that she hopes their goal to boost the number of pro-democracy lawmakers can succeed.
"We can have more say in the legislature. We don't want to be rubberstamp and we are not abjectly obedient citizens," said Chan.
(Production: Yoyo Chow, Yanni Chow)
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