China reduces elected seats in Hong Kong legislature – Fox News
China has sharply reduced the number of directly elected seats in Hong Kong’s legislature in a setback for the democracy movement. The changes were announced Tuesday after a two-day meeting of China’s top legislature.
In the new make-up, the legislature will be expanded to 90 seats, and only 20 will be elected by the public. Currently, 35 seats, or half of the 70-seat legislature, are elected.
The Election Committee will also be expanded from 1,200 to 1,500 members.
The full National People’s Congress rubber-stamped a proposal in early March that authorized the Standing Committee to amend the Basic Law. The next step is for Hong Kong to revise its election laws and hold an election under them.
Under the changes, a committee will also be established to review the qualifications of candidates for office in Hong Kong to ensure the city is governed by “patriots,” in the language of the central government.
The political opposition in Hong Kong — which has advocated for more democracy, not less — sees the changes as part of a broader effort to keep them out of office.
In part, it comes down to the definition of patriots. The opposition has tried to block legislation by filibustering a key legislative committee for months and disrupting legislative proceedings.