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Result of district council election skewed by intimidation, dirty tricks: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-25 20:39

Voters line up outside a polling station during district council elections in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Sunday. [Photo provided for China Daily]

The result of Sunday's district council election marks a setback for Hong Kong's democratic development, as the results were skewed by the illegal activities of the opposition camp to the benefit of their candidates.

In the run up to Sunday's voting, members of the opposition camp, particularly their young agitators, engaged in an all-out campaign to sabotage the campaign activities of pro-establishment candidates and intimidate their supporters from going to the ballot box.

The offices of as many as 300 pro-establishment candidates were repeatedly damaged, with phone lines and internet access deliberately cut off.

And many pro-establishment candidates have complained that their campaign posters and banners were systematically and repeatedly demolished or removed from public places. Numerous store operators have confessed that they refrained from displaying campaign materials of pro-establishment candidates in their business premises for fear they would suffer reprisals from opposition agitators.

All these and other violent intimidation tactics were intended to reduce the exposure and visibility of pro-establishment candidates.

External forces that have helped stoke the months-long anti-government campaign in the special administrative region also contributed greatly to damaging the election chances of the pro-establishment candidates. They stepped up their mudslinging efforts against Beijing and the SAR government in the run up to the election, hyping up the eventually discredited claims of ex-British consulate staff employee Simon Cheng and self-proclaimed spy Wang Liqiang.

US lawmakers were even more brazen in interfering in Hong Kong's internal affairs: They rushed through the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act ahead of Hong Kong's district council election.

Outrageous as that is, it surprised few.

Part of a political agenda against the central and SAR governments, the act paints criminal activities as the pursuit of human rights and democracy when the truth is those activities deny human rights and democracy to any not in agreement with that agenda.

Emboldened by such support, members of the opposition camp have been advocating and inciting illegal acts under the banner of democracy, and young agitators have unleashed all kind of shocking violence, some of which have demonstrated the perpetrators have lost any semblance of humanity.

Over the past five months, under the guise of "democracy", "freedom" and "civil rights", the opposition camp has made a mockery of these values. With the instigation and indulgence of external forces and anti-China forces, the blatant skewing of the election was a continuation of the efforts of those radical forces in Hong Kong who are flagrantly disrupting social order in an attempt to destabilize Hong Kong for their nefarious designs.

The election was further evidence, if any were needed, that the pressing issue in Hong Kong is upholding the rule of law and restoring order as soon as possible.

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