Hong Kong puts off legislative elections by a year

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hong Kong's leader finally put an end to guesses on the city's legislative elections due on Sept 6 by announcing they would be postponed for a year, in a controversial move some say would create legitimacy issues but that others say would prevent a hostile takeover of the Legislative Council (Legco).

Describing this as "the hardest" decision she has had to make in the past seven months, Mrs Carrie Lam said the pandemic is too severe for an election to be held. The central authorities would ask the National People's Congress Standing Committee to make a decision on how to fill the vacuum that this move would create, she said. One option could be to extend the term of the current Legco, even though the Basic Law, or the city's mini-Constitution, explicitly states that each Legco term is to last four years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2020, with the headline 'HK puts off legislative elections by a year'. Print Edition | Subscribe