Hong Kong’s next leader will be decided by the 1,461 current members of the Election Committee on May 8. Electors were vetted last year by a committee led by the sole candidate – ex-chief secretary John Lee.
The chief executive-elect ran three election ads in April, but failed to submit copies of related documents within one working day of their publication, an offence that is punishable by a HK$5,000 fine and six months in prison.
While meeting with top officials on Monday, John Lee was asked whether he would guarantee that dissenting voices would not be “subject to speech crime,” as “opposition to government policies can be easily criminalised and charged as sedition or even as subversion.”
Only 1,461 people will get to vote in the city’s next leader. Following Beijing’s restrictive overhaul, HKFP examines five key characteristics of Sunday’s electorate which make it a one-man race like no other.
From his role as security chief during the 2019 protests and unrest, to his promotion to the city’s No. 2 position, HKFP examines John Lee’s career in his own words as he looks set to become Hong Kong’s next leader.
“A few words of advice if John Lee wants to start his chief executive career in a warm glow of public approval – or at least not in an icy depth of public hostility. Putting ‘national security legislation’ as a top priority is not a crowd pleaser,” writes Tim Hamlett.
“His policy platform is progressive, realistic and practical – which is consistent with his method of operation and attitude – and minimises hollow promises and pipe dreams in favour of a results-oriented approach,” writes Adrian Ho.
No one wants to risk making critical potentially seditious remarks about the new Chief Executive – sedition being a new area of interest for Hong Kong’s national security police, writes Suzanne Pepper.
“John Lee’s loyalty has been battle-tested. Choosing him signals that the Chinese Communist Party is not confident about security in Hong Kong. It also lets us know that the central government continues to distrust the Hong Kong government and people,” writes John Burns.
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