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Mainland voting plan riles pan-democrats

2020-10-08 HKT 18:33
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  • Mainland voting plan riles pan-democrats
Damon Pang reports
A war of words is heating up between rival camps in Legco on a possible government move allowing Hong Kong people living in Greater Bay Area to vote in future Legislative Council elections.

Sing Tao Daily has reported that officials will soon announce plans to set up polling stations there.

The pro-establishment camp backs the proposal, but pan-democrats said if confirmed, it would be a blatant attempt to rig the elections.

Lam Cheuk-ting of the Democratic Party said on Thursday Hong Kong officials do not have any power to deal with problems that may occur at polling stations across the border.

"As a former ICAC investigator, I don't think the commission has any legal power to carry out any meaningful investigation on mainland China," he said.

"I'm very worried that the vote-rigging activities or the other corruption activities will happen, and ultimately that will be no consequences for those wrongdoers."

Another pan-democrat, Claudia Mo of Council Front, said allowing people who don't ordinarily reside in Hong Kong to vote would change the rules of the game in the pro-Beijing camp's favour.

"They are now announcing that they're practically doing their best to legitimise something that is perfecting illegal under our existing election laws," Mo said.

The camp also pointed out that it would be extremely difficult for them to canvass for votes on the mainland where many topics that are being discussed in Hong Kong are banned.

Across the political divide, Priscilla Leung of the Business and Professionals Alliance said while local inmates can vote using their last residential address in Hong Kong, the same should apply to people living in the Greater Bay Area.

Leung said the vote to right could even be extended to Hong Kong people living in Taiwan in future.

"Theoretically, it is under one country," she said. "Under One Country, Two Systems, they should be treated the same. However, administratively, even in mainland China, we cannot open to all provinces for the time being, we would target the Greater Bay Area first. Everything must be done incremently."