Leaders in Hong Kong disqualified a dozen pro-democracy candidates from seeking office and delayed the city’s elections for a year on Friday.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam made the announcement during a Friday press conference, saying coronavirus had made it impossible to hold a fair election, the Washington Post reported. Rather than maintaining the legislative councils’ current makeup until the next election, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be selecting replacements.
“We have made the decision to postpone the election for one year,” Lam said. “We would not be able to meet the requirements of an open and fair election.”
Lam’s move came less than a day after city authorities banned a dozen pro-democracy candidates from seeking election, saying they were not fit for office, according to the BBC. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Josh Hawley Says China’s National Security Law ‘Will Mean The End Of Democracy In Hong Kong’)
The city listed four criteria it said would disqualify future candidates, according to the BBC.
- advocating for, or promoting, Hong Kong’s independence
- soliciting intervention by foreign governments in Hong Kong’s affairs
- expressing “an objection in principle” to the imposition of the national security law by central authorities in Beijing
- expressing “an intention to exercise the functions of a LegCo Member by indiscriminately voting down” any legislative proposals introduced by the Hong Kong government, “so as to force the government to accede to certain political demands”
[I was just disqualified from LegCo election, despite being the biggest winner in #Hkprimaries]
1. Few minutes ago, I was just disqualified from running in the upcoming LegCo election in #Hongkong, even though I got the highest vote share in the primary, w/ 30000+ votes obtained pic.twitter.com/sC3XWbBlsq
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 ???? (@joshuawongcf) July 30, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pomeo officially informed the U.S. Congress that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China on May 27, days after the CCP imposed a national security rule which allows it to prosecute Hong Kong residents for seeking to secede from China or subvert the authority of the communist regime.
“Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed international treaty,” Pompeo said in a statement.
The U.S. has since ended its special treatment of Hong Kong, rescinding the special economic protections it enjoyed thanks to its status as a Western-style democracy.