Former police officer elected as Hong Kong chief executive
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China has gotten itself a new chief executive following an uncontested election.
Former police officer and security secretary John Lee Ka-Chiu has won the post of Hong Kong Chief Executive, the Hong Kong government announced Sunday after an uncontested election saw him garnering 99.16% of the vote.
"The Returning Officer for the election, Mr. Justice Keith Yeung Kar-hung, declared under Section 28 of the Chief Executive Election Ordinance (Cap 569) that John Lee Ka-Chiu was elected as he obtained more than 750 valid 'support' votes cast," the official statement read.
The voting by the members of the election committee took place on Sunday from 9 am to 11:30 am local time. In total, 1,428 votes were cast, making for a turnout of 97.74%, according to the government.
The vote was a matter of supporting or opposing John Lee's candidacy for the post of Chief Executive, with voters asked to indicate on the ballot whether they were in favor or against John Lee.
The committee is comprised of 1,500 members charged with electing the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
John Lee's candidacy received the support of the Chinese government for what reports have claimed was his stance in favor of Beijing, which hopes to establish closer ties with Hong Kong.
The elected Chief Executive served as Hong Kong Secretary for Security during the 2019 protests that had been ongoing in the city for over a year at the time, earning him a spot on a sanctions list in the United States, which accused him of "undermining Hong Kong autonomy."
The Hong Kong electoral legislation stipulates that the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China be elected for a five-year term by the 1,500 members of the election committee, religious communities, and members of parliament and local organizations.
The electoral process itself is carried out through anonymous voting, and for a candidate to win, they must acquire more than 750 votes.
Former Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam had announced that she would not seek reelection as the political head of the city.
"I will complete my five-year term as chief executive on June 30, and officially conclude my 42-year career in government," Lam told reporters.
China's leaders, according to Lam, "understood and respected" her decision, explaining that it was based on her family considerations. "I have to put my family members first, and they feel it is time for me to return home," she said.