Taiwan politicians urge Beijing to respect pro-democracy victories in HK elections

26-Nov-2019 Intellasia | TaiwanNews | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s voters show sweeping support for pro-democracy candidates in district elections

Taiwanese politicians, including President Tsai Ing-wen, have called on the Chinese authorities to properly respond to the results of Hong Kong’s district elections, which reflect strong public support for the months-long protest movement.

Speaking with local media on Monday (November 25), Tsai said she was pleased to see Hong Kong’s people express their opinions through a democratic process. She added that she hoped the election outcomes would be respected by authorities.

Presidential Office Spokesperson Ting Yun-kung commented that the elections are a testimony to “Hong Kong people’s absolute determination to pursue freedom and democracy.” Describing the victory of pro-democracy campaigners as public opinion piling up like a “mountain,” Ting called on Beijing and Hong Kong authorities to resolve the current conflict through sincerity and dialogue.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy candidates have won a landslide victory in the district elections, which many have described as a referendum on the ongoing anti-government protests, obtaining 388 out of 452 seats and seizing control of 17 of the city’s 18 districts. Sunday’s elections saw the largest voter turnout since the semi-autonomous region’s handover in 1997, with nearly three million people casting their ballots.

District councilors have very limited power in terms of influencing government policies, but a portion of them will be selected for the 1,200-member election committee, which will select the city’s chief executive through a vote. District elections are also the only elections with direct participation by the Hong Kong electorate, and thus the election results are seen by some analysts as a vote of no confidence in the Hong Kong government, which has previously claimed to have the support of a “silent majority.”

Taipei Mayor and Chair of the Taiwan People’s Party Ko Wen-je has urged Beijing to “face Hong Kong’s situation with honesty and look for solutions.” The election results reflect Hongkongers’ opposition to the government, he said on Monday, further stating that Beijing should not always simply accuse foreign forces of being behind the protest movement.

Former New Taipei City Mayor and Kuomintang Chair Eric Chu also encouraged Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to recognise public opinion and seek ways to put an end to social unrest and economic recession in the financial hub. Chu added that the record turnout rate and the victory of the pro-democracy camp have demonstrated that “a majority of Hong Kong’s voters have a distrust of the Hong Kong government and Beijing and yearn for a new climate.”



Category: Taiwan

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