Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the rescheduling represented “only the most recent in a growing list of broken promises by Beijing.”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday denounced as anti-democratic Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s decision to delay legislative elections by a year due to coronavirus concerns.
McEnany’s condemnation comes one day after President Donald Trump suggested the United States postpone its own election in November.
“This action undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned Hong Kong’s prosperity,” McEnany said at a news briefing Friday morning.
Citing a worsening Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong, Lam had announced earlier Friday that the semi-autonomous Chinese city would push back to Sept. 5, 2021 the Legislative Council elections previously scheduled to take place in a little over a month.
McEnany said Lam’s invocation of her emergency powers to force the rescheduling represented “only the most recent in a growing list of broken promises by Beijing, which promised autonomy and freedoms to the Hong Kong people until 2047 in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.”
The White House statement followed Trump’s tweet Thursday proposing that the U.S. delay its general election, now less than 100 days away, because of his unsubstantiated predictions of widespread mail-in voter fraud.
After facing a near-universal bipartisan rebuke for floating a change to the Nov. 3 voting date, the president appeared to backpedal his recommendation in a subsequent tweet and during remarks at a White House coronavirus briefing.
“Do I want to see a day change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election,” he told reporters, asserting without evidence that an election in which large swaths of voters cast their ballots by mail would be “the most rigged election in history.”
Despite Trump’s repeated insistence to the contrary, cases of election fraud in the U.S. are exceedingly rare. Experts acknowledge that there are some slightly higher fraud risks associated with mail-in balloting when proper security measures are not put in place.
The date for the presidential election has been set in law by Congress since 1845 as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The president has no constitutional authority to change the date of the election, which can only be rescheduled by Congress.
News – White House condemns Hong Kong election delay after Trump suggests postponing U.S. election