Friday, September 02, 2016

Hong Kong Lets Companies Vote

Vanuatu National Travel and Israel’s state airline El Al will vote in Hong Kong’s rigged election
While half of the 70 seats in the chamber are directly elected by universal suffrage, known as geographical constituency seats, the other half are elected through so-called “functional constituencies,” returned by a mix of individual and corporate votes organized roughly by industry.

It’s a colonial arrangement that still weighs on Hong Kong’s democratization, critics say. “The colonial regime used to co-opt the business elite through the functional constituencies, which allowed them to get a seat in Legco,” said Ma Ngok, a professor of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The system continues to serve a purpose for Beijing, Ma added, by protecting the Beijing-leaning business sector’s interests. “The Chinese government sees [the functional constituencies] as an important buffer between itself and the pro-democracy legislators returned by universal suffrage,” he said.

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