Disqualification and mass resignation of pro-democracy lawmakers discussion: James To & Junius Ho; & US election public polls
Wednesday’s decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress makes it clear that Hong Kong must be governed by people Beijing considers to be patriots. The resolution, citing activities endangering national security, paved the way for the Hong Kong government to disqualify four pro-democrat lawmakers, Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung based on their actions in promoting or supporting Hong Kong independence, refusing to swear allegiance to the HKSAR and abide by the Basic Law, and appealing to foreign forces to interfere in local affairs. The top body says these are not only legal requirements but also the political conditions for existing members and future candidates to run as legislative councillors. Chief Executive Carrie Lam says she asked for Beijing’s ruling because she was facing a constitutional problem that Hong Kong’s courts couldn’t handle. Just hours after the disqualifications, 15 remaining pro-democracy legislators announced their resignations en masse. Despite the departure of so many elected opposition legislators, the Chief Executive says it would be unfair to assume LegCo will become a rubber stamp assembly. Earlier today, I spoke to Junius Ho and James To, one of the legislators who has just resigned.
It’s more than a week since Election Day in the United States, and votes are still being counted. By last Saturday though, as 279 electoral college votes were estimated for Joe Biden and 217 for Donald Trump, it was pretty clear who had won. To date, Donald Trump is still refusing to concede, insisting the election was fraudulent, as least in states where he lost, and using government machinery to slow any transition to a new presidency. Realistically though, it’s all over bar the angry tweeting. Once the count is complete, President-elect Biden is expected to be over five million votes ahead of Trump in the popular vote.
But one thing is clear: the election was much more of a nail-biter than polls had predicted. And many are assessing how much, and why, the pollsters missed the mark again.