Widely known by the public, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong is selected not by universal suffrage but by a 1,200-member Election Committee (EC). While candidates Carrie Lam, John Tsang, and Kwok-hing Woo all ran in the Chief Executive Election of 2017, only Lam received the blessing of authorities in the Mainland. Though Tsang had led the polls throughout the entire campaign and was popular on several social media platforms, a majority of EC members still cast their vote for Lam as Chief Executive. This was the first time that EC members voted against popular opinion in the Chief Executive Election. This paper analyzes the limited power of social media under elections that are under the influence of Mainland China. It also examines the problem of legitimacy in such electoral settings and the way in which authorities in the Mainland have influenced electoral outcomes through defects in the institutional systems of Hong Kong. The 2017 Chief Executive Election affirmed the tightened control of Mainland authorities over the affairs of Hong Kong.
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© 2019 Issues & Studies.
- Chief Executive Election
- information and communication technologies
- Mainland authorities' policy toward Hong Kong
- political marketing
- universal suffrage