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How 12 countries - rich and poor - carried out elections during the Covid-19 pandemic

On Friday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced that Hong Kong’s legislative elections will be postponed in light of the coronavirus outbreak. The city has seen a surge in infections in recent weeks, though recent polls suggest the pro-Beijing camp would also face a battering at the ballot box in September following a year of protest.

Photo: Studio Incendo.

In April, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association Clément Voule said in a statement that – despite the pandemic – democracy cannot be indefinitely postponed, adding that freedom of association and assembly online – as well as freedom of expression – should be ensured.

Despite this, Hong Kong is not alone in its decision. Ethiopia, Italy, the UK, Somalia and the Solomon Islands postponed local and national elections this year, whilst Spain and Syria pushed their elections forward from April to July. However, many other countries – rich and poor – managed to roll out special measures and organise polls during the Covid-19 pandemic. HKFP examines how.

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