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Hong Kong democracy activist challenges disqualification from poll
© WIkimedia (Iris Tong)
Hong Kong democracy activist challenges disqualification from poll

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong filed a lawsuit Friday challenging his disqualification from the region’s legislative council general election.

On July 30th, Hong Kong authorities barred Wong and 11 other pro-democracy activists from the elections, which were due to be held in September. Endorsing the decision of its returning officer,  the Hong Kong government reiterated in a press release that

upholding the BL [Basic Law] is a fundamental constitutional duty of every LegCo [Legislative Council] Member. People having the following behaviours could not genuinely uphold the BL and could not therefore perform the duties of a LegCo Member, i.e. advocating or promoting Hong Kong independence, self-determination or changing the system of the HKSAR by supporting Hong Kong independence as an option for self-determination; soliciting intervention by foreign governments or political authorities in relation to the HKSAR’s affairs; expressing an objection in principle to the enactment of the National Security Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and its subsequent promulgation as a national law listed in Annex III to the BL; expressing an intention to exercise the functions of a LegCo Member by indiscriminately voting down any legislative proposals, appointments, funding applications and budgets introduced by the HKSAR Government after securing a majority in the LegCo so as to force the Government to accede to certain political demands; and refusal to recognise the PRC’s exercise of sovereignty over the HKSAR and the HKSAR’s constitutional status as a local administrative region of the PRC. 

The polls have been postponed until September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Security Law that was passed at the end of June has been heavily criticized for suppressing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

“The reason I apply for judicial review is to make clear that the power of the returning officer keeps enlarging, they are just (pursuing a) political mission,” Reuters quoted Wong as saying. If Wong’s challenge is endorsed by the courts, other disqualifications might be similar contested.