The government has launched a series of video clips to promote Beijing’s decision to overhaul Hong Kong’s election system.

In the second episode of “Improve Electoral System, Preserve One Country Two Systems,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam claimed the upheaval means that a review committee rather than electoral officers will vet potential candidates.

“It will have no impact on the so-called democrats. I believe many democrats are patriotic. As long as they fulfil the criteria of a patriot, they can still run for elections,” Lam claims.

Deputy Director of the Hong Kong Macao Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming also appears in the clip claiming democrats can run “in accordance with the law.”

Popular voting reduced

On March 11, Beijing passed a resolution to ensure “patriots” govern Hong Kong, making it near-impossible for pro-democracy candidates to stand for elections. The move will reduce democratic representation in the legislature, tighten control of the polls and introduce a pro-Beijing vetting panel to select candidates.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Photo: GovHK screenshot.

The Hong Kong government said the overhaul will ensure the city’s stability and prosperity, but the US said it would erode Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.

HKFP has reached out to the government to ask how much money is earmarked for the campaign.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.