“The United States condemns the Hong Kong government’s decision to postpone by one year upcoming Legislative Council elections originally scheduled for 6 September. There is no valid reason for such a lengthy delay. It is likely, therefore, that Hong Kong will never again be able to vote – for anything or anyone,” a Pompeo statement published on the State Department website read.
Pompeo lashed out at Beijing for what he said was its flouting of the 1997 Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
The statement urged Hong Kong authorities to reconsider the delay or risk continuing to become just another city in China.
“We urge Hong Kong authorities to reconsider their decision. The elections should be held as close to the September 6 date as possible and in a manner that reflects the will and aspirations of the Hong Kong people. If they aren’t, then regrettably Hong Kong will continue its march toward becoming just another Communist-run city in China,” the statement read.
A day earlier, Chief Executive Lam stood behind the government’s decision to delay the elections, citing a worrying epidemiological situation in the country. She explained the lengthy delay as attributed to the fact that the elections require extensive preparations, which the government also wanted to avoid undertaking in times of high COVID-19 transmission.
Lam also referred to the top body of China’s parliament, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, as the highest ordinance qualified to extend the mandates of Hong Kong’s current convocation on lawmakers, which expires on 30 September.
Earlier in the week, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the decision to delay the September 6 election to the Legislative Assembly to 5 September 2021, citing coronavirus fears.