The largely pro-Beijing committee that elects Hong Kong’s leader will also choose some members of the legislature, a top Chinese official announced Friday as part of a major revamp that will increase Chinese control over Hong Kong politics.
“The Election Committee has been given the new function of electing a relatively large proportion of Legislative Council members and directly participating in the nomination of all candidates for the Legislative Council,” Wang Chen, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, said during the annual session in Beijing.
Wang added that the size, composition and formation method of the current election committee will also be adjusted, and that the chief executive will continue to be elected by the election committee.
Currently, half of the city’s 70-member Legislative Council is directly elected by voters. The other half is elected by professional or special interest groups from sectors such as insurance, engineering and agriculture. With the largely pro-Beijing election committee nominating all candidates for the legislature, opposition figures could be barred from running in elections.