Joshua Wong and 11 other Hong Kong pro-democracy election hopefuls have been disqualified from running in the 2020 Legislative Council election.
The back-to-back actions came within a span of about 24 hours Thursday, a sweeping gesture showing how much a national security law enacted last month had strengthened Beijing’s hand.
Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments issued statements praising the disqualification of 12 opposition candidates, showing that mere opposition to the law drafted by Beijing was enough to prevent them from taking office.
Pro-democracy activist Lester Shum and Southern District Councillor Tiffany Yuen also announced on Facebook that they were barred from running in the September race.
Civic Passion’s Alvin Cheng, as well as Central and Western District Councillor Fergus Leung, pro-democracy lawmaker Kenneth Leung and activists Ventus Lau and Gwyneth Ho were also banned.
A government spokesperson confirmed that a dozen candidates had been disqualified and said that all nominees must uphold the Basic Law.
They said that lawmakers cannot promote independence or self-determination for Hong Kong, seek intervention from foreign governments, an object in principle to the national security law or express an intention to vote 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.
These nominations are not in compliance with the requirement under the Legislative Council Ordinance. Returning Officers are still reviewing the validity of other nominations according to the laws.
We do not rule out the possibility that more nominations would be invalidated, the spokesperson added.
According to a letter shared by Gwyneth Ho, returning officer Amy Yeung cited her opposition to the Beijing-enforced national security law as a reason for ruling that she did not have a genuine and true intention to uphold the Basic Law.
It is an obvious sham for the candidate to say she does not object to the HKSAR’s constitutional obligation to safeguard national security under the principle of One Country, Two Systems in accordance with the Basic Law, Yeung wrote.