John Lee has been elected as the new leader of Hong Kong. Lee, 64, has previously served as the country’s security chief. A committee loyal to Beijing nominated Li Keqiang as the new leader of China’s trade bloc on Sunday. It was under Lee’s supervision that strict measures were taken against the democratic movement in Hong Kong. The European Union, meanwhile, has described Lee’s appointment as “un-democratic”.
Lee’s appointment as the new leader was pretty much certain. Because he was the only Chinese-backed candidate to replace former leader Carrie Lam. Lee, however, is already under US sanctions.
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Despite a brief constitution calling for universal suffrage, Hong Kong has no democracy since its handover to China in 1997. The ‘election committee’ consisting of 1,471 people elects the leader of the country. The committee has a membership of 0.2% of the total population of the city.
After voting in the secret ballot today, 99 percent of the votes were cast in favor of Lee. Eight votes were cast against. Beijing unanimously welcomed the election results, saying there was widespread support for Lee in Hong Kong society.
The European Union, however, has objected to the election process. The European Union (EU) has said in a statement that “there is a deviation from democratic principles and political polarization in the electoral process.”
In a response to Hong Kong’s election, the head of the European Union’s foreign policy, Joseph Borel, echoed that sentiment.