Majority in HK supports postponing LegCo elections: survey

By Leng Shuemei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/9 13:38:40

Hong Kong Photo:VCG

Up to 55 percent of the respondents in Hong Kong participating in a recent survey said that they agree with the decision to postpone Legislative Council (LegCo) elections due to latest COVID-19 outbreaks, and 70 percent support the central government's decision to send medical teams to help the city combat the epidemic. 

The survey, conducted by the Hong Kong social science public opinion research center under Our Hong Kong Foundation, involved 1,192 local residents contacted between August 2-5 via random phone calls, Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

Its results showed that most Hong Kong residents supported the HKSAR government's decision to delay the LegCo elections for one year, given the local epidemic situation, with only 37.6 percent opposing the decision. 

Residents' attitudes show that the local SAR government's decision is in line with public opinion and is responsible, the report said. 

As of Saturday, 4,008 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases had been detected in Hong Kong, with 51 deaths. The number of new cases stood at 69 on Saturday, 89 on Friday and 95 on Thursday.

At the request of the SAR government, China's central government has already dispatched a nucleic acid testing team to help Hong Kong accelerate COVID-19 testing.

Among the survey respondents, 68.2 percent said that they supported the move, which showed that local residents are deeply concerned about the epidemic and hope the central government will provide some help, as the city has been slow to bring the latest resurgence under control, and the number of daily new cases continued to stay elevated, said the report.

And, over 80 percent of the respondents said they had felt little impact in their daily lives in the past month after the enactment of the national security law for Hong Kong, while 7.4 percent felt affected. The findings showed that the law had not affected local residents' lawful rights under the Basic Law, the survey results said. 

About 66 percent of the respondents said they opposed US sanctions on Hong Kong, while 26.9 percent expressed support, showing that most Hong Kong residents are dissatisfied with the US government's  interference in China's domestic affairs. 

The US Department of the Treasury on Friday placed sanctions on 11 officials in the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong for "undermining Hong Kong's autonomy". Ko Chung Kit Jacky, a Hong Kong resident, told the Global Times on Saturday that the action would not have an actual effect. "The unilateral sanctions have no legal power in Hong Kong and will not affect Hong Kong's economy," Ko said.  

Given the impact of the violent street protests in 2019 and this year's epidemic assault, Hong Kong is not only suffering from an economic recession but also facing public health crisis, which make many local residents confused about their future. About 47 percent of the respondents said they are not confident about the future, while 40 percent said they are confident. 

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on July 31 that due to severe COVID-19 situation in the city, the LegCo elections scheduled for September would be postponed by one year.

The Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC) on Saturday reviewed a report from Lam on the election delay and the request to make an arrangement for the current term of LegCo to avoid a so-called "vacuum period."

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