Hong Kong’s Executive Council has recently passed a series of restrictive amendments to voting laws in the former colony.

Hongkong executive has recently proposed restrictive amendments to the voting laws of the country. The new bill i.e. The Improving Electoral System (Consolidated Amendments Bill), 2021 would redraw electoral districts and raise the number of districts from five to ten, create a committee to vet candidates for public office, and make it illegal to encourage people not to vote, to leave ballots blank, or to cast invalid ballots in any other way. Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said that the vetting committee was needed for national security reasons. Further, the criminal penalties have been introduced to prevent “any manipulation to jeopardize or sabotage an election.” Critics of the proposed legislation worry that if all candidates must be loyal to the mainland Chinese government, the screening committee would deprive voters of legitimate competition among candidates. The screening process would require a thorough review by a special police force, further dampening opposition candidates’ chances.

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