Emily Lau: A very, very dark day for Hong Kong

The passing of sweeping changes to Hong Kong’s electoral rules will mean prospective MPs will have to go through a degrading and humiliating process, the former Democratic Party chairperson and legislator Emily Lau has said.

Hong Kong does not have democracy but they had a system which allowed people to be free, safe and have the rule of law, Ms Lau told BBC World News.

“Now of all this is crumbling before us and people are very scared, we are going to lose our freedom, lose our personal safety, lose our rule of law and this is a very, very dark day for Hong Kong,” she said.

The new electoral rules will see the number of directly elected parliamentary seats almost halved and prospective MPs will first be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee to ensure their loyalty to the mainland.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has said the vetting committee will not screen out people based on their political views and there was not a “one-size-fits-all” way of doing democracy.

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