Hong Kong Faces Another Barrier in Fight for Democracy

Hong Kong Faces Another Barrier in Fight for Democracy
Pro-democracy protesters shout slogans after lawmakers voted against the election reform proposals, Hong Kong, June 18, 2015 (AP photo by Vincent Yu).

Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s legislature vetoed an election-reform package that was backed by mainland China but strongly criticized by pro-democracy lawmakers and activists. In an email interview, Michael C. Davis, professor at the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law, discussed Hong Kong’s democracy movement.

WPR: What do democratic advocates in Hong Kong fear from China’s proposed electoral plan?

Michael C. Davis: China’s democratic reform proposal essentially provides for a vetted election for Hong Kong’s chief executive. Under the Aug. 31, 2014, Beijing decision and the Hong Kong legislative bill to carry it out, a heavily pro-Beijing 1,200-member nominating committee would select by majority vote three candidates to be presented to the voters. Democracy advocates view this as a fake election and fear it is part of a larger pattern of interference from Beijing that will ultimately undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and, with it, the rule of law.

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