HK govt. stresses legitimacy of upcoming election

The Hong Kong government has stressed the legitimacy of the upcoming legislative council election by allowing people who are not pro-China to run.

Chief Secretary for Administration John Lee Ka-chiu announced on Friday that the Candidate Eligibility Review Committee determined 153 candidates are valid.

Local media are reporting that among them, around 10 are not pro-Beijing.

The vote will take place on December 19. Ninety members of the legislature will be elected under a new system introduced in May.

Under the system, a vetting committee was set up to screen out candidates regarded as "unpatriotic" or a threat to national security.
Lee said the candidates have diverse political views, proving that the system can achieve balanced representation.

But people who want to run in the election need nominations from the election committee, whose members are predominantly pro-Beijing.

This has led pro-democracy political parties to give up fielding candidates.

It's unclear how much support candidates who describe themselves as centrists can win.

Public interest in the election is low, and voter turnout is expected to drop.