The ICAC – once an anti-corruption agency, now apparently an all-purpose NatSec regime enforcer – arrests three people for allegedly ‘inciting another person not to vote, or to cast invalid vote, by activity in public during election period’. They reposted an online appeal (presumably Ted Hui’s) to cast blank ballots in December’s Legislative Council quasi-election. The agency says it…
…will take resolute enforcement actions to combat conduct manipulating and sabotaging the election … [and] urges members of the public to abide by the law, and not to engage in making illegal appeals or repost any unlawful contents in order to uphold a fair and clean election.
No doubt thousands of people reposted Hui’s Facebook message, but the ICAC action will surely spread the word: the authorities are really worried that you, the voters, will boycott the election or cast blank votes.
The weird part is that no-one has done more to ‘sabotage’ the election and encourage a voter boycott than the NatSec regime itself, by jailing most of the candidates citizens would want to vote for – and further rigging the exercise to make voting near-pointless.
Under the ‘improved’ election system, the public at large elect only 20 of 90 lawmakers, and after nominations close tomorrow and the subsequent vetting takes place, it’s possible that many will have a ‘choice’ of three candidates for each two-member constituency. That’s the current situation in all but two of the 10 geographical constituencies: two Beijing-picked winners, plus one stooge for the sake of appearances, like Allan Wong, who…
…announced his candidacy on Monday. According to Stand News, Wong said he was told to change from the New Territory North constituency by someone “with some status in society.”
With the outcome already decided, even avid Beijing loyalists might be tempted not to bother going along to vote.