BEIJING – Over 1 million voters have cast their ballots in the election for the seventh-term Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as of 17:30 on Sunday, crushing a campaign riddled with lies from external forces while demonstrating the true will of the people in the Chinese city.
The election, the first since the improvement in the HKSAR's electoral system, has attracted wide attention. But certain external forces intent on destabilizing China have gone to great lengths to disrupt the city's electoral system, going so far as publicly inciting voters to boycott the election or cast a blank ballot.
These efforts to interfere in China's internal affairs have led nowhere. The LegCo election in Hong Kong has been smooth overall, with the cumulative turnout rate in the Election Committee constituency topping 90 percent early in the afternoon and that of more than ten functional constituencies already reaching over 50 percent.
Despite a global pandemic and constant outside interference, voters from various sectors of Hong Kong have fulfilled their duty as electoral participants. A major factor that motivates them to do so is their expectation of good governance in the city and their action illustrates the public's strong faith in the new LegCo.
Dec 19, 2021 will go down in the history of the HKSAR and enter the historical memories of its citizens, a day when the broad masses of Hong Kong went to the polls to make the "Pearl of the Orient" shine more brightly
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According to a recent poll published by Hong Kong-based think tank Bauhinia Institute, 77.9 percent of surveyed voters believe the LegCo election is of great importance to the future of Hong Kong. A different survey conducted by Youth Vision HK recently showed that more than 70 percent of respondents say that candidates of the LegCo election represent a wide political spectrum, while nearly 70 percent believe the candidates are better qualified than in previous elections.
Hong Kong voters have displayed their recognition of the new electoral system featuring broad representation, political inclusiveness, balanced participation, and fair competition.
Many seniors cast their ballots early in the morning despite the cold weather, and families heading to the polls together was a common sight.
And the cold response to incitation to cast blank or invalid ballots has reflected the collective will of Hong Kong to remain calm and peaceful and reject the interference of forces seeking to undermine China.
In the United States, election laws are so strict that election-related crime is quite low, nearly one-fifth the average rate of other crimes. Hong Kong's electoral law also has strict terms, but some forces in the United States and the West are encouraging the people of Hong Kong to break the law.
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But whatever those external forces do, they will never succeed in preventing the LegCo election from being held in an orderly fashion, not to mention stopping Hong Kong from marching forward on its path towards democracy and the rule of law.
Dec 19, 2021 will go down in the history of the HKSAR and enter the historical memories of its citizens, a day when the broad masses of Hong Kong went to the polls to make the "Pearl of the Orient" shine more brightly.