Beijing brands primaries 'illegal manipulation'Local | 14 Jul 2020 9:32 pm
A spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) doubled down on the criticism of the pro-democracy camp's primaries, describing it as an "illegal manipulation" of the upcoming Legco elections, RTHK reports.
He said the exercise, which attracted hundreds of thousands of voters, posed a blatant challenge to the Basic Law and the newly enacted national security law.
"The primaries interfered with and damaged Hong Kong's democratic election system, eroded the government's power to hold an election and violated the principle of fairness," the spokesman said.
The office added that the organiser of the poll – held to to pick candidates for the upcoming Legco elections – law professor Benny Tai, is an agent of foreign forces and one of those hurting Hong Kong.
Beijing's Liaison Office had earlier accused Professor Tai of trying to seize power in Hong Kong and launch a colour revolution.
It had said any attempt by opposition lawmakers to seek to control of the legislature to oppose and paralyse the government would amount to subversion.
Both sets of Beijing officials are backing Chief Executive Carrie Lam in launching an investigation into the primary polls.
Meanwhile, Pro-Beijing lawmaker Priscilla Leung said while there's nothing wrong with primaries in general, the opposition camp's efforts were simply too much.
"Every political party may conduct primary elections, but conducting primary election in this format, in this scale and the way that they are conducting it, giving the picture that they are doing something under authorisation of government, people may even think the government is doing it, this is not allowed," said Leung.