China News Agency, Hong Kong, February 18 (Reporter Zeng Ping) The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, held a press conference on the 18th to announce that as Hong Kong is facing the most severe situation since the two-year anti-epidemic situation, the SAR government must focus on responding to the epidemic, and the Executive Council Approved the introduction of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance, and postponed the sixth-term chief executive election originally scheduled for March 27 to May 8, and the nomination period was postponed to April 3 to 16 accordingly.
This is not the first time Hong Kong has postponed elections because of the epidemic.
In July 2020, the Chief Executive in Council similarly invoked the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to postpone the seventh-term Legislative Council election for one year.
Lin Zhengyue said that the fifth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong has deteriorated rapidly after the Lunar New Year, which has greatly exceeded the SAR government's ability to respond to every link in the "anti-epidemic chain".
In addition, the election itself will bring certain public health risks, and candidates cannot normally conduct election work such as winning nominations and support, explaining their political platforms and aspirations under the restrictions of social distancing measures, which may weaken the fairness, impartiality and openness of the election to a certain extent.
She pointed out that the main premise of postponing the election is that it will not exceed the term of the current SAR government, and how long to postpone the election has taken into account the following factors.
First, the epidemic has not yet peaked, and it will take at least two or three months to stabilize; second, the time required for the formation of a team and other elections is reserved for the chief executive-designate; third, the electoral laws are based on the principle of the nomination period and the election period. Regulation.
Carrie Lam believes that citing the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to postpone the election of the chief executive has sufficient justification and legal basis.
The Executive Council will enact this regulation as soon as possible. Once passed by the Executive Council, it will take effect immediately. It will then be submitted to the Legislative Council for a first-enactment-then-deliberation procedure.
She described it as a difficult decision, but it was in line with the actual situation in Hong Kong and the public interest.
In addition, Carrie Lam mentioned that with the full support of the central government, the SAR government will intensify its efforts to take various measures to fight the epidemic, including formulating a detailed plan for mandatory testing of the virus by the whole people.
She said that in response to the actual situation in Hong Kong, or referring to Macau and the mainland to conduct multiple rounds of national testing, but there is no plan to implement a "closed city".
She also said that the central support has enabled Hong Kong to improve its anti-epidemic capabilities in all aspects in a very short period of time.
Due to the high number of confirmed cases among the elderly in Hong Kong, I hope to invite experts from the mainland to come to Hong Kong, so that Hong Kong can learn from the mainland's experience in treating severe cases.