Patriotic elites scramble to join election committee

Politicians, businesspeople and other prominent Hongkongers have started throwing their hats into the ring for a seat on the city’s election committee, boasting of their patriotic credentials and setting out what they expect of the next chief executive.

The nomination period for the Election Committee (EC) subsectors opened on Friday ahead of elections for the body on September 19.

The 1,500-member EC will be made up of five big sectors, under which there are 40 subsectors that include representatives from businesses, professional bodies, labour and religious groups, as well as national legislators and groups that have ties to the central government.

After Beijing’s overhaul of the SAR’s electoral system, those who make it through a new vetting process and go on to be elected will not only select Hong Kong’s next chief executive, but also 40 of the future 90 members of the Legislative Council.

Allan Zeman, the chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, was among those getting applications in promptly at the government’s headquarters. He said he is vying to become a member of the catering subsector.

“My criteria for the next chief executive is someone that will be listening to the people, helping Hong Kong to get better and better… and [helping] the young generation really see a good future for themselves in Hong Kong and that they don’t have to leave to go overseas,” Zeman said.

The pro-Beijing Federation of Trade Unions said it was putting forward at least 50 people in the elections, saying they will take the initiative to protect Beijing’s comprehensive jurisdiction over Hong Kong and safeguard national security.

“We are the major forces in the patriots and also an ally in the practice of ‘One country, Two systems.’ That’s why we will actively take part, hoping to promote good governance in Hong Kong,” said FTU president Stanley Ng.