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‘Isn’t it ridiculous?’: Artists’ stunt shines light on Hong Kong’s 1,194 eligible voters

Hundreds of Hongkongers have been filming themselves performing mundane tasks, in protest at their lack of voting rights in the city’s Sunday morning chief executive election.

Only the 1,194 members of the Election Committee – the city’s electoral college – are allowed to cast votes between 9am and 11am to select the city’s next leader. The figure represents 0.03 per cent of the city’s registered voting population.

沒有票的香港 – No election in Hong Kong now

【沒有票的香港】1194人在投票選特首時,其餘99.97%的香港選民被排除在外。他們在做什麼?這是選舉日早上,更真實的香港。
詳情:http://addoilteam.hk
參與方法:在facebook上開直播,宣告你是不在票站的香港人,加上 #1194only hashtag,並在直播完結後,在comment tag @addoilteam 讓我們收到影片
【No election in Hong Kong now】When 1,194 members of the Election Committee are choosing the Hong Kong Chief Executive, 99.97% of Hong Kong citizens are excluded from the election. What is the rest of us doing? This is the REAL Hong Kong during election.

Details: http://addoilteam.hk
How to join: Go live on facebook and announce that you are not in the polling station, add a #1194only hashtag. When the live video ends, tag @addoilteam in the comment section so we would receive the video.

Publié par Add Oil Team 打氣小隊 sur samedi 25 mars 2017

Facebook users live-streamed themselves playing video games, eating bananas and walking their dogs with the hashtag “1194only” – in order to show that they were not voting on Sunday morning.

The protest stunt was organised by an art group called Add Oil Team, which said it wanted to remind the world that the vast majority of the public were excluded from voting in the election.

“[Hongkongers] will be watching 1,194 people entering the polling station on TV screens to decide their fate,” it said.

‘Isn’t it ridiculous?’

Add Oil Team also asked Hongkongers to describe how small the number 1,194 is, adding the phrase “isn’t it ridiculous?”

“The number is probably fewer than the number of giant pandas in the wild,” wrote one commenter.

“Probably fewer than the number of guys trying to date my dream girl,” wrote another. “Isn’t it ridiculous?”

AddOil Team

“Probably fewer than the number of people who die by choking on steamed pork buns.” Photo: Add Oil Team.

Add Oil Team had developed out of the pro-democracy 2014 Occupy protests. In August that year, the National People’s Congress – China’s top legislature – had announced a framework under which Hongkongers would be allowed universal suffrage. However, a Beijing-controlled committee would first vet the candidates.

The proposal was criticised by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy camp as “fake universal suffrage,” and the city’s Legislative Council rejected it the following year.

Hong Kong therefore kept its old election system, under which the small-circle Election Committee selects the chief executive. Only around 300 of the 1,194 electors are considered to be pro-democracy, while the remainder are considered Beijing loyalists.

Former chief secretary Carrie Lam is heavily rumoured to be Beijing’s favoured candidate, and some electors claim they have been pressured to vote for her. The popular former financial secretary John Tsang as well as retired judge Woo Kwok-hing are also running in the election.

Controversial art group

The art group is not new to controversy, having attempted last year to transform the sides of the International Commerce Centre skyscraper into a countdown timer, ticking down to July 1, 2047.

ICC protest building

Photo: Add Oil Team.

The date marks the official end of Hong Kong’s One Country, Two Systems policy, which guarantees its autonomy from Beijing.

However, the Hong Kong Arts Development Council terminated that exhibition five days into its one-month schedule, causing allegations of censorship.

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'Isn't it ridiculous?': Artists' stunt shines light on Hong Kong's 1,194 eligible voters