- Hong Kong announced on Friday that it would postpone the city's upcoming parliamentary elections by a year, raising concerns about the corona virus.
- The move marks yet another major blow to the Hong Kong democracy movement, and is worryingly parallel to President Donald Trump's recent efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 US election.
- Trump suggested on Thursday that election day be postponed due to false claims about mail-in voting.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
In the recent strike against the democracy movement in Hong Kong, the city's government announced on Friday that the parliamentary elections scheduled for September will be postponed by a year.
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam raised concerns about the coronavirus pandemic when the move was announced.
"It is a really difficult decision to delay, but we want to ensure fairness, public security and public health," said Lam. according to the New York Times.
The announcement came about a month after Beijing passed a controversial new national security law in Hong Kong that essentially punishes dissent, and only a day after a dozen democracy-friendly candidates excluded from the choice. The government considered the candidates unlikely to run due to a number of arbitrary factors, including the rejection of the new national security law.
Eddie Chu, a democracy-friendly Hong Kong legislator standing for re-election, said on Twitter that China's ruling communist party is "make a strategic retreat" to avoid "possible devastating defeat" of pro-Beijing candidates in the elections.
The White House rejected Hong Kong's decision to postpone its general election as anti-democratic on Friday, just a day after President Donald Trump proposed that the US postpone the 2020 election.
"Delay the vote until people can vote correctly, safely and securely ???" Trump tweeted Thursday in a disturbing parallel to what was happening this week in Hong Kong.
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 31, 2020
Trump, who was borrowed from China's authoritarian playbook, cited false concerns about postal voting when he suggested pushing back election day. Democrats advocated improved access to mail-in voting over concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in crowded polling stations.
The president, who lags behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, has repeatedly said that mail-in polls would result in widespread election fraud. But there is virtually no evidence to support Trump, as election fraud is extremely rare in the United States.
Trump has no legal authority to postpone the election, but the fact that he even proposed postponing election day raises serious questions about whether the president will accept the results if he loses. If Trump rejects the outcome of the November 3 election, it could lead to a constitutional crisis.
Given his troubled reelection campaign and approval rate in the gutter, it is clear that Trump believes his best bet is to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 election.
The president therefore tries to sow doubts about the integrity of the American electoral process among voters if he loses. Trump reflects the tactics of dictators like Chinese President Xi Jinping, who saw it The president's term limit in China was abolished two years ago in one step that effectively made him president for life.
Coincidentally, Trump praised Xi in 2018 for strengthening power and launched the idea that the United States would abolish the President's term limits set out in the U.S. Constitution.
"He is now president for life. President for life. And he is great," Trump said about a Xi in a private speech to republican donors, according to a record obtained from CNN. "And look, he did it. I think it's great. Maybe we'll try one day."