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Hong Kong postpones elections: 'It's the hardest decision I've had to make', says Carrie Lam

Telegraph, 31 Jul 2020
Hong Kong’s government has postponed its parliamentary elections by a year.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam cited a worsening Covid-19 outbreak in the city for the decision.

The elections had been due to take place in September. They will now be held in September 2021.

"The announcement I have to make today is the most difficult decision I've had to make in the past seven months," Ms Lam said at a news conference.

"We want to ensure fairness and public safety and health, and need to make sure the election is held in an open, fair and impartial manner. This decision is therefore essential," she said.

The postponement is a setback for the pro-democracy opposition, which was hoping to capitalise on disenchantment with the current pro-Beijing majority to make gains. A group of 22 lawmakers issued a statement ahead of the announcement accusing the government of using the outbreak as an excuse to delay the vote.

The city of 7.5 million people has had a surge in coronavirus infections since the beginning of July. Hong Kong has recorded 3,273 infections as of Friday, more than double the tally on July 1.

The government has tightened social distancing restrictions, limiting public gatherings to two people, and banned dining-in at restaurants after 6 pm.

Read more on this story here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world/?WT.mc_id=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_July31CarrieLam&utm_source=tmgoff&utm_medium=tmg_youtube&utm_content=offsite_televideo&utm_campaign=tmg_youtube_offsite_televideo-youtubevideo_July31CarrieLam

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