Joshua Wong disqualified from running for office . . .
Hong Kong youth activist Joshua Wong has been barred from running in next month’s District Council elections. The former student leader of the 2014 Umbrella Movement was barred on the grounds that his political party, Demosisto, supported “self-determination,” a term the government interprets as independence for Hong Kong. As a result, the Hong Kong government determined that Wong’s platform was inconsistent with Hong Kong’s Basic Law, making him ineligible for office. District Councillors are appointed to four-year terms, during which they advise the Hong Kong government on community and local matters.
Not the first time . . .
Hong Kong democracy activists have been barred from standing for other past elections, but in the upcoming District Council election, Wong is the only candidate to be banned. Previously, the Hong Kong government banned Agnes Chow, also a member of the Demosisto party, from running in a 2018 Legislative Council by-election, while six democratic lawmakers were removed from office after an embattled oath-taking controversy in 2016-2017. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she will continue to “tackle the violence head on” as protests continue and Hong Kong slips into a financial recession.
The world reacts . . .
The U.S. has reacted strongly to Wong’s election ban, with Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, calling the action against Wong “another blow against rule of law.” Earlier this month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, bringing it one step closer to becoming official. In Canada, just a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was re-elected, more than a dozen pro-Hong Kong groups across Canada sent an open letter asking for a stronger stance in support of Hong Kong. For Canada, challenges lie ahead as the government teeters on a diplomatic tightrope, attempting to prove it can improve its relationship with China while also showing support for democracy in Hong Kong.
- Reuters: Hong Kong bars activist Joshua Wong from district poll
- The Globe and Mail: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong barred from running in district elections
- South China Morning Post: Campaigners urge Canada’s Trudeau to adopt US-style Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act