Sunday, 11 March 2018

By-Election Blues

An Au Nok-hin supporter earlier today
Today is the by-election for four of the six seats in the Legislative Council vacated by those who were disqualified for making improper oaths of office.

Despite rigorous campaigning, voter turnout seems blase about the event. By 9.30pm, an hour before polls closed, a total of 840,070 voters had cast their votes in the geographical constituency, an overall turnout rate of 39.97 percent. This compares to a 52.27 percent for the same time during the 2016 general elections.

Granted this is a by-election and not a general election, still it's important for the pro-democrats to try to regain ground in Legco. However, it seems voters may be jaded and feel there's no point in trying to vote for someone who represent their interests because the Hong Kong government, or rather Beijing, will find a way to disqualify them, or make it harder for pro-democracy lawmakers to do their work.

Pro-Beijing loyalists butt heads with Joshua Wong and Au
There's also still simmering tensions between pro-democracy and pro-Beijing parties. This morning at around 9am in Aberdeen, a group of middle-aged Beijing loyalists surrounded pro-democracy candidate Au Nok-hin along with Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Agnes Chow Ting.

"You are a traitor who betrayed your country! Why don't you go to Taiwan instead?" the pro-Beijing group shouted at them, along with some swear words.

The tensions also extended to former senior officials who had differing opinions on the state of politics in Hong Kong. Ex-chief executive Tung Chee-hwa said quarreling should end, saying advocates of Hong Kong independence and self-determination would cost a heavy toll.

"We should elect some people who are constructive, pragmatic and true-heartedly serving Hong Kong into the Legislative Council," he said.

Tung Chee-hwa says he wants Hong Kong to move forward
Don't we all want that? We know independence isn't going to get anywhere but what about at least upholding "one country, two systems"?

Meanwhile Tung's former No. 2 Anson Chan Fang On-sang had a different view.

"Hongkongers should never give up... we should vote to express our zero tolerance to the constant interventions in Hong Kong affairs and the devastating damage to the 'one country, two systems' principle by the local and central governments," she said.

"Tung called on citizens to vote for those who genuinely work for Hong Kong," Chan continued, addressing his earlier comments. "I believe voters have the wisdom to judge who truly represents the values of Hongkongers."

Anson Chan hopes votes reflect Hong Kong's sentiment
We will see in the next few hours what the results are and in what direction Hong Kong will be going in... we can only hope for the best.

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