Sir, Beijing’s assertion that the election of a sole opposition candidate to Hong Kong’s election committee is proof of the city’s flourishing democracy is an affront to anyone who cares about Hong Kong (News, Sep 20).
Dictators always face the dilemma of taking 95 per cent or 99 per cent of seats and votes.
In Hong Kong, the Chinese Communist Party decided on 99 per cent, with just one opposition candidate elected to the 1,500-strong committee.
What a contrast with Hong Kong’s free elections in 2019. The polls held last Sunday for the Beijing-dictated election committee were a farce. Any poll in which only 0.06 per cent of the population participates is starved of legitimacy.
What’s more, this revamped body will crown Hong Kong’s next chief executive, as well as 40 out of 90 seats in the city’s parliament, yet is largely composed of hand-picked regime loyalists.
Tossing a bone to the opposition, much of which has been jailed, exiled or silenced by Beijing’s lackeys in Hong Kong, is not democracy. The British government — the guarantor of Hong Kong’s autonomy — must and should do more.
Lord Alton of Liverpool
Vice-chairman, all-party parliamentary group on Hong Kong