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  • The 2004 Legislative Council Elections in Hong Kong

The 2004 Legislative Council Elections in Hong Kong

Edited by Kuan Hsin-chi and Timothy Ka-ying Wong

English , 2006/01 HKIAPS, Research Monograph Series Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

Tags: Hong Kong Studies, Politics

215 x 140 mm , 351pp ISBN / ISSN : 978-962-441-569-8

  • US$12.00

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The 2004 Legislative Council (Legco) elections were the last elections prescribed in the Basic Law for the transitional period. The method by which future elections are to be conducted will depend on a constitutional review, and any proposed reforms will require the consent of the legislature, the Chief Executive, and the central government. Thus, through the construction of sufficient support for democratic reforms within the next legislature, the 2004 Legco elections are significant in the political development of Hong Kong. Its significance was further augmented by critical events in the preceding year, including the outbreak of a massive demonstration on July 1, 2003, in which half a million people protested against the government and demanded greater democracy. Concerned that democratic forces would seize political power in Hong Kong, the central government resolutely reaffirmed its established policy of reventing any elections that threaten to produce a democratic majority in Legco. At the institutional level, in April 2004 the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress unilaterally ruled out the possibility of introducing universal suffrage in the 2007 Chief Executive elections and the 2008 Legco elections. At the operational level, Chinese officials were involved in the overall coordination of efforts to guide public opinion, as well as in the electoral nomination/campaign of pro-Beijing forces. The 2004 elections thus saw the fiercest political competition ever to take place in the history of Hong Kong, with many more constituencies hotly contested than before and the highest voter turnout rate ever seen in Hong Kong. This book draws on a wide range of local expertise to explicate the historical antecedents to, and the various processes of, the election. Some of the chapters also try to elucidate the structural and cultural incentives and constraints that underlay the behavior of the players. They all attempt to understand the implications of the electoral results for issues of governance and democratic reform in the future.

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