- Hong Kong announced on Friday that it was delaying the city’s upcoming Legislative Assembly elections for a year, citing concerns over coronoviruses.
- The move is another major blow to the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and bears similar parallels to President Donald Trump’s recent efforts to reduce the legitimacy of the 2020 election in the US.
- On Thursday, Trump suggested Election Day could be delayed over bayonet claims about mail-in voting.
- For more stories visit the Business Insider homepage.
In the latest blow to the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, the city’s government announced on Friday that the legislative elections to be held in September would be postponed for a year.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam voiced concern over the coronovirus epidemic in announcing the move.
According to the New York Times, Lam said, “It is a really difficult decision to delay, but we want to ensure fairness, public safety and public health.”
The announcement came nearly a month after Beijing passed a controversial new national security law in Hong Kong that essentially criminalizes dissent, and a day after a dozen pro-democracy candidates were disqualified from running for election. . The government deemed the candidates ineligible to run for office based on an array of arbitrary factors, including opposition to the new national security law.
Eddie Chu, a pro-democracy legislator in Hong Kong who is running for the election, said on Twitter that China’s ruling Communist Party is “Make a strategic comeback” To avoid the “potentially disastrous defeat” of pro-Beijing candidates in the election.
The White House on Friday halted the decision to postpone its legislative elections as anti-democracy, a day after President Donald Trump suggested the US delay the 2020 election.
“Delay the election until people can vote properly, safely and safely ???” Trump on Thursday tweeted in a volatility parallel to this week’s events in Hong Kong.
-Oran Rupar (@atrupar) 31 July 2020
Trump, borrowing from China’s totalitarian dramabook, cites serious concerns over mail-in voting in Election Day’s suggestion. Democrats have been advocating increased access to mail-in voting over concerns of COVID-19 spreading to crowded polling places.
The president, who followed former Vice President Joe Biden in the elections, has reiterated that mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud. But there is almost no evidence to back Trump, because voter fraud is extremely rare in the US.
Trump has no legal authority to delay the election, but the fact suggesting the postponement of election day has raised serious questions over whether the president will accept the outcome if he loses. If Trump rejects the November 3 election result, it could lead to a constitutional crisis.
With his reelection campaign in trouble in the gutter and approval ratings, it is clear that Trump feels his best bet is to reduce the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
That is why the president is trying to doubt the integrity of America’s electoral process among voters, because he has lost. With doing so, Trump is echoing the moves of dictators such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, who abolished presidential limits in China two years ago, which made them effective for a lifetime.
As it happens, in 2018 Trump praised Xi for consolidating power and floated the idea of ending the US presidential cap, which is enshrined in the US Constitution.
“He’s now president for life. President for life. And he’s great,” Trump said of Xi in a private speech to Republican donors at the time, according to recordings obtained by CNN. “And look, he was able to do that. I think that’s great. Maybe we’ll give a shot someday.”