CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 July 2019

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Protestant rumblings over Election Committee

HONG KONG (UCAN): The increasing bickering and polarisation in Hong Kong politics has spread into the Churches, where some criticism over their selection procedures for representatives on the Election Committee that chooses a chief executive has been expressed.

In late October, the Catholic Church was questioned over its criteria for affirming membership of the Church and in late October Protestant Churches came under fire for abandoning their previous internal election process and choosing their representatives for the religious sector by lottery.

The election system was first introduced by the Hong Kong Christian Council as a way of giving people more experience of the democratic process, but this year, complaints have been expressed about the decision to revert to a lottery method.

Some see the system as unfair, saying that the lottery favours larger denominations over smaller ones. One critic even went on a hunger strike to oppose the new arrangement.

On October 30, the Christian Council drew 33 of the 579 names out of the hat in the first round of the new system.

Protestant, Catholic, Taoist, Buddhist, Islam and Confucian faiths are allocated 10 seats each on the Election Committee.

Reverend Po Kam-cheong, the secretary-general of the Christian Council, noted that the council had always sought to be fair, but added, “There could never be an absolutely fair model.”

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