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As dozens of pro-China lawmakers in Hong Kong’s legislature stood up in May to heap praise on a bill giving Beijing an effective veto over candidates in the city’s elections, only one legislator condemned the move.

"Cronyism will be the primary prerequisite for this election,” said Cheng Chung-tai, by then the legislature’s sole directly elected opposition member, after the others had either resigned or been removed. "Corruption is bound to happen,” he told the assembly at the time.

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