İrem UZUN -TDO- China's parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly endorsed a proposal on "improving the electoral system" of Hong Kong, further restricting the ability of people in the city to freely elect their leaders. Members of the National People's Congress in Beijing voted 2,895 in favor of the proposal, with no votes against and one abstention.
Hong Kong's parliament called the Legislative Council (LegCo) helps to make Hong Kong's laws. It is made up of 70 seats but only about half are directly voted for by the public. In recent years, some of the seats have been filled by pro-democracy figures. The other has mostly been filled by smaller groups representing special interests such as business, banking and trade— sectors which are historically pro-Beijing.
The changes include expanding the size of Hong Kong’s electoral commission, which selects the city’s chief executive and a number of members of the Legislative Council, from 1,200 to 1,500 members, and grants more voting power to the commission’s pro-Beijing members. The plan also increases the number of seats in the Legislative Council from 70 to 90 and strips the voting rights of several lower-level district councilors, many of whom are pro-democracy supporters.
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam says she and Hong Kong's government "firmly support" the move. Lam said "There is no so-called international standard of democracy. Every democracy has to look into the proper context of that particular country, or that particular place. We are improving the electoral system by making sure that whoever is governing and administering Hong Kong in future is somebody who loves the country, who loves Hong Kong".