Asia Pacific / Politics

Hong Kong considers postponing legislative elections, HKET reports

Bloomberg

The Hong Kong government is considering postponing the upcoming legislative elections, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported, after a sudden surge in coronavirus cases raised new questions about the September vote.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s advisory Executive Council was expected to meet Tuesday to discuss postponing the Sept. 6 legislative elections, the Hong Kong Economic Times said, citing people it didn’t identify. An announcement could come later in the day, the paper said.

The Hong Kong government didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Calls for delaying the Legislative Council elections have been growing in recent days, with outbreak-control measures making traditional campaigning increasingly difficult. On Monday, Hong Kong announced that it would limit public gatherings to no more than two people starting Wednesday.

The report comes after more than half a million Hong Kong residents voted in the opposition’s unofficial primary elections earlier this month, defying government warnings and a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The election would be Hong Kong’s first since China’s imposition of sweeping national security legislation, a move that raised the pro-democracy camp’s concerns it would be used to disqualify its candidates from September’s vote. The opposition has hoped to ride the momentum of its landslide victory in last November’s District Council elections to a majority in the legislature.

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