US Condemns Postponing Hong Kong Elections

  • Pompeo argued that China has “no intention” to maintain the commitments reached with the Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. 
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam left the decision virtually in the hands of the central government of Beijing.
  • Two U.S. politicians warned China in a statement on Friday.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the one-year postponement of the Hong Kong legislative elections, which had initially been scheduled for September 6, saying that there wasn’t sufficient justification for the move. Pompeo made a statement published on the State Department website.

“The United States condemns the Hong Kong government’s decision to postpone by one year upcoming Legislative Council elections originally scheduled for September 6. There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay. It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone.”

The statement continued:

“We urge Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their decision. The elections should be held as close to the September 6 date as possible and in a manner that reflects the will and aspirations of the Hong Kong people. If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China.”

The 2021 Hong Kong Legislative Council election is scheduled on 5 September 2021 for the 7th Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo). Originally scheduled on 6 September 2020, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on 31 July 2020 the invocation of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance which gave her to the emergency powers to postpone the election.

In addition, Pompeo argued that China has “no intention” to maintain the commitments reached with the Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lama announced on Friday a one-year delay, citing the increase in the new coronavirus cases in the territory, and invoking the national emergency law.

By finally deciding to invoke the national emergency law against the coronavirus, promulgated by the Chinese authorities, Lam left the decision virtually in the hands of the central government of Beijing.

It would thus be the second time in less than a year that Lam invokes such powers, first introduced almost a century ago under British colonial rule. The first instance was when she invoked the law last October, to ban the use of masks by protesters hiding their identities during anti-government protests.

The postponement of the elections, in principle until September 5, 2021, raises unknowns about the current situation both of the LegCo and of the opposition deputies who saw their candidacy annulled “for security reasons,” according to the authorities.

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance is a law of Hong Kong that confers on the Chief Executive in Council the power to make regulations on occasions that the Chief Executive believes to be an emergency or public danger. The government invoked the ordinance during the 1967 Hong Kong riots, during the oil crisis in 1973,[5] during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests and postponing the 2020 Legislative Council election.
The elections postponement move is seen as a blow to the pro-democracy camp, which was widely expected to win many seats in the election in the Special Administrative Region, owing to the current mood on the ground. Analysts opine that the postponement was the latest in a series of moves by the government in recent days to deal with the influence of the pro-democracy movement.

Two U.S. politicians, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), outgoing Chair of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Senate ranking member, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), warned China in a statement on Friday. “This  action only further undermines the credibility of China as a responsible rule-abiding member of the international community.”

The statement concluded:

“If Beijing thinks that this effort will silence those who stand for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, it is gravely mistaken: today we are all Hong Kongers.”

Only $1/click

Submit Your Ad Here

Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

Leave a Reply