The central government on Friday expressed support for the decision to postpone Hong Kong’s Legislative Council election for a year.
In a statement, the central government said the decision by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government was made in accordance with the law, in line with the interests of the public, and based on the actual situation in Hong Kong, as the city faces its third and worst wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The central government will provide all necessary support and assistance to the HKSAR to help the city combat the latest wave of the epidemic outbreak and safeguard the lives and health of SAR residents
On the same day, the city recorded 121 new COVID-19 infections, the 10th consecutive day of a triple-digit count.
Under the SAR’s Basic Law, each LegCo term can be for only four years, which means the city’s legislature will be vacant until the election is held on Sept 5, 2021.
Facing legal questions caused by the election delay, the central government said it will ask the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress — China’s top legislature — to decide how to resolve the problem.
The HKSAR will properly handle the work related to the election postponement in accordance with the law, the statement read.
The central government also pledged to provide all necessary support and assistance to the HKSAR to help the city combat the latest wave of the epidemic outbreak and safeguard the lives and health of SAR residents.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council said on Friday the decision shows the SAR government’s great sense of responsibility toward Hong Kong residents’ lives and health, describing the move as “reasonable” and “legitimate”.
Postponing elections has become a common practice of many countries and regions amid the pandemic, the office said in a statement, adding that the move won’t affect the normal operation of the city or undermine any rights and freedoms Hong Kong residents enjoy in accordance with the law.
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the HKSAR on Friday also voiced its understanding and support for the SAR government’s decision to postpone the election.
The office said the move conforms with the views of the vast majority of residents and is in line with the nation’s Constitution, the HKSAR Basic Law, and local laws of the city.
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The office described the move as a science-based effort to control the pandemic and embodies the sense of responsibility to protect the lives and health of Hong Kong residents.
The Liaison Office said it is confident that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will lead the city to beat back the disease, with the firm support of the central government and the assistance of the mainland.
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