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Hong Kong has just chosen its new chief executive for the next five years, after an uneventful ballot that lasted barely two hours. John Lee, a former security minister during violently suppressed riots by police in 2019, was chosen by more than 99% of the roughly 1,400 voters who took part in the poll.
With our correspondent in Hong Kong, Florence de Changy
The statistics related to this “ballot” could not be simpler: a single round, a single polling station and above all a single candidate. John Lee, career policeman, former Minister of Security, was designated a volunteer barely a month ago. This working-class man, who began his career at the bottom of the ladder as a simple uniformed policeman, will be Hong Kong’s first leader from the security forces.
He was Hong Kong’s security chief at the time of the massive pro-democracy protests of 2019. In this capacity, he oversaw the crackdown on the protest as well as the severe political takeover that followed. This earned him to appear on a list of Chinese and Hong Kong personalities sanctioned by the United States. But it has also helped him gain the trust of Beijing, which has often suspected Hong Kong elites of disloyalty or incompetence.
“ Merry Christmas »
The election was quickly folded on Sunday morning. The result should please Beijing: 98% of the members of the electoral committee voted, 99.4% for John Lee. But for Hong Kongers like Joanne Lam, who have been calling for democracy for a long time, this result, worthy of a Chinese assembly, is laughable: “ I think we don’t care about the result. It does not mean anything. It is an election with a single candidate who has no program. But he still gets almost 100% of the votes. Frankly, it’s very funny and we will be able to laugh for a long time ! »
During the press conference he gave after his victory, John Lee wished “ Merry Christmas to all the mothers, on the occasion of Mother’s Day, before getting back together. His lack of oratorical talent is part of the reproaches made to him by his detractors who consider him a simple puppet of Beijing.
For the head of diplomacy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, his appointment “ violates democratic principles and political pluralism “. “ The selection process » of this former policeman responsible for the security of the city, « is a new step in the dismantling of the principle “one country, two systems”. Chinese and Hong Kong authorities must respect their national and international commitments “said Mr. Borrell on his Twitter account.
► To read also: Frequency Asia – Hong Kong: “John Lee is a good and loyal subject of Beijing”
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