Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that Hong Kong's revamped elections are part of a new democratic system that is better suited to Hong Kong, questioning whether it's too much to ask for a bit of loyalty from politicians.
Critics have suggested the overhaul of the electoral system is aimed at shutting out opposition, but Lam said the only objective is to ensure that patriots rule Hong Kong.
“No one said a patriot cannot run for elections if he or she has a different political stance or is rather critical of the SAR government,” she told the press at a weekly briefing.
“Is it too harsh to require people who enter the political system and participate in the SAR’s governance to be loyal to the Basic Law and the SAR?”
Lam was also asked what “democracy” means to her.
"In a way, it's a democratic system that suits Hong Kong better, because there are still elections," said Lam.
“A democratic system depends on the local circumstances, its constitutional arrangement and the development process. But we must not forget what we want to bring ultimately with democracy. We want it to benefit the people. I believe no one would promote a democratic system that works against the people’s interest,” she said.
"Elect me and I'll make your life difficult – it doesn't work that way," she added.
The CE said the test as to whether the new electoral system is a good one, and whether it meets the spirit of democracy, is whether it will improve governance, help solve people’s problems, help Hong Kong better integrate into national development and boost the city’s economy.