US body flays HK electoral process

Agence France Presse

Hong Kong, June 24:

Hong Kong’s leadership election was undemocratic, uncompetitive and involved minimal participation from the public, a US think-tank said today. The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) criticised the electoral process adopted by the territory, calling it a “non-election”. “Hong Kong’s chief executive election process was not one that would have been recognised as democratic in much of the world,” it said. “The electoral process remains uncompetitive and participation in the process is still severely limited,” it said in a report. Veteran civil servant Donald Tsang was declared the territory’s new leader to succeed Tung Chee-hwa yesterday after securing the overwhelming support of a 800-member Beijing-backed selection committee. NDI said it was clear the election process would end at the nomination stage with Tsang as the sole nominee. “Throughout the nomination period, it always looked highly unlikely that either of the other two candidates would come close to receiving the minimum 100 nominations to make it to the next round,” it said. “Despite all the campaigning, the 2005 election, as in 2002, was another non-election.”

Tsang sworn in

BEIJING: Donald Tsang officially took over as Hong Kong’s new leader on Friday, assuming the role for the next two years after taking an oath of office before Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The ceremony in the Great Hall of the People capped his 38-year ascent from a lowly clerk to the second leader of Hong Kong since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. — AFP