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Factionalism and Chinese-style democracy: the 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive election


  • Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo


The 2017 Chief Executive election in Hong Kong demonstrated the severity of factional politics in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, where the pro-democracy faction has been struggling for power against the pro-Beijing camp. It also showed Mainland China’s emphasis on the centralist aspect of the principle of democratic centralism in which the Hong Kong Chief Executive was elected by a relatively small group of elites, most of whom were under the influence of Beijing. The Chinese-style of democracy was reflected in the desire of Mainland officials and the pro-Beijing press to ensure the easy victory of Carrie Lam, who was the only candidate from the pro-Beijing faction. The efforts of Beijing and its agents to secure Lam’s victory pervaded the pre-nomination, nomination, campaign and election, and post-election stages of the electoral process. The process highlighted the uneasiness of China in possibly having to deal with an uncertain outcome of a limitedly pluralistic electoral experience.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo, 2017. "Factionalism and Chinese-style democracy: the 2017 Hong Kong Chief Executive election," Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 100-119, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rapaxx:v:39:y:2017:i:2:p:100-119
    DOI: 10.1080/23276665.2017.1325620

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