[WSMDiscuss] Hong Kong bars 12 opposition candidates from legislative election / Hong Kong postpones legislative election citing coronavirus surge (both al-Jazeera)

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Fri Jul 31 18:02:03 CEST 2020

Friday, July 31, 2020

Viruses in movement…, Hong Kong in movement…, China in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Freedoms in movement…, History in movement…

[The face-off in Hong Kong continues to unfold in almost predictable ways (except, so far, for tanks rolling through the city) : First, yesterday, the Hong Kong authorities barring 12 key opposition candidates from the upcoming legislative elections in September; and then today (see further on below), their postponing the elections by a year, on the pretext of the coronavirus epidemic…  In other words, attempting to use the authority and power of the state to block and blanket, and so – they hope – to dissipate and to absorb the energy of the movements.  This though perhaps also gives the movements some space to step back and to organise – but keeping in the mind the now far-more-restricted political space that is available, and where they had hoped to use the legislative elections as a democratic means – within the available space - of forcing the lid open…

[For background, see my previous post on July 14, 2020 (‘Organizers of Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil appear in court / Hong Kong elections : Beijing accuses Occupy protest leader Benny Tai of breaking national security law through primary poll’) :

Hong Kong bars 12 opposition candidates from legislative election

Hong Kong government warns more nominees could face similar decision as the disqualified 12, including Joshua Wong


July 30 2020

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/hong-kong-bars-12-opposition-candidates-legislative-election-200730091554656.html <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/hong-kong-bars-12-opposition-candidates-legislative-election-200730091554656.html>




Prominent activist Joshua Wong and 11 other opposition figures have been barred from running in Hong Kong's upcoming legislative elections, a move they decried as the latest assault on China's critics in the semi-autonomous city.

The government of Hong Kong, in a statement <https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/202007/30/P2020073000481.htm> on Thursday, said electoral authorities had disqualified the 12 nominees for failing to demonstrate their intent to support and promote the territory's mini-constitution, or Basic Law.

Advocating for independence, soliciting intervention by foreign governments, or "expressing an objection in principle" to a national security law that China imposed on Hong Kong earlier this month are behaviours that "could not genuinely" uphold the Basic Law, the statement said.

It added that the Hong Kong government supported and agreed with the decision and warned more nominees could face a similar fate in the near term.

Wong confirmed his disqualification in a post on Twitter, saying he was barred for describing the new national security law as "draconian".

3. Despite 610,000+ #Hongkongers <https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hongkongers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> voting in #HK <https://twitter.com/hashtag/HK?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>’s primary, #Beijing <https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beijing?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw> now staged the biggest-ever crackdowns on the city’s election, by disqualifying nearly all pro-democracy runners, from young progressive groups to traditional moderate parties. pic.twitter.com/fW5yq1lHON <https://t.co/fW5yq1lHON>
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) July 30, 2020 <https://twitter.com/joshuawongcf/status/1288755154934812672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>
The barring of opposition candidates amounted to China's "biggest-ever crackdown" on an election in Hong Kong, he said, adding the move targeted "young progressive groups to traditional moderate parties".

He added that "clearly, Beijing shows a total disregard for the will" of people in Hong Kong, "tramples upon the city's last pillar of vanishing autonomy" and attempts to keep the city's legislature "under its firm grip".

'No political censorship'

The South China Morning Post (SCMP), a Hong Kong-based news publication, said Gwyneth Kwai-lam Ho, another prominent activist, was also disqualified for opposing the national security law in a statement on July 25.

Ho was told that "such an unequivocal expression" against the national security law "casts serious doubt on whether the candidate embraces, promotes, and supports the fundamental principle of 'one country, two systems', and therefore objectively has the genuine and true intention to uphold the Basic Law at the time of the nomination", according to the SCMP.

China had introduced the new legislation in Hong Kong on June 30, seeking to punish what it termed secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The law, which bypassed Hong Kong's legislature, followed months of pro-democracy protests last year that at times descended into violence.

Critics of the law describe it as an assault on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms, assured under the "one country, two systems" framework set in place when the city was returned by the United Kingdom to Chinese rule in 1997. But supporters say it will bring stability after a year of anti-China unrest.

Others disqualified included four incumbent opposition legislators, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Kenneth Leung, the SCMP reported.

The government statement said other improper behaviour that could disqualify nominees included intentions to vote down government proposals "indiscriminately" to force it to accede to other political demands and a refusal to recognise China's sovereignty over Hong Kong.

But there was "no question of any political censorship, restriction of the freedom of speech or deprivation of the right to stand for elections as alleged by some members of the community", it said.

'White terror'

The disqualifications mark a major setback for the pro-democracy campaigners, who had been hoping to win the first-ever majority in Hong Kong's Legislative Council, known as LegCo. It came hours after four students, aged between 16 and 21, were arrested for social media posts that were deemed to breach the new security law.

The four were all former members of Student Localism, a pro-independence group that announced it was disbanding its Hong Kong branch the day before the security law was enacted.

Police said they were arrested on suspicion of organising and inciting secession through comments made on social media posts after the law came in.

Student and rights groups condemned the arrests, saying they heralded the kind of political suppression ubiquitous on the Chinese mainland.

"Hong Kong has fallen into the era of white terror," the Student Unions of Higher Institutions, which represents 13 student unions, said in a statement overnight, referencing a Chinese idiom to describe political persecution.

"It is crystal clear that more and more Hongkongers [will] have to endure ... Communist terror," it added.

At least 15 people have now been arrested under the new law.




Why Hong Kong's traditional under-stairs shops are disappearing (2:10) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gli5Rsuf25c>

Nathan Law, a democracy activist who went into exile after the law was imposed, expressed similar sentiments on Twitter.

"White terror, politics of fear dispersed in Hong Kong," he said, describing the election disqualifications as an attempt to bring China's rubber-stamp parliament system to Hong Kong.

"The Chinese Communist Party's strategy is apparently aiming to suppress all forms of resistance in Hong Kong with huge fear and intimidation," he wrote.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Hong Kong postpones legislative election citing coronavirus surge

Delay by a year slammed by pro-democracy supporters who accuse authorities of using virus as excuse to avoid defeat


July 31 2020

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/hong-kong-delays-legislative-council-vote-citing-covid-19-surge-200731082209657.html <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/hong-kong-delays-legislative-council-vote-citing-covid-19-surge-200731082209657.html>


Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net> &  <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>jsen at uottawa.ca <mailto:jsen at uottawa.ca>
Now based in Ottawa, Canada, on unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) and in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325)

https://movementsofmovements.net/ <https://movementsofmovements.net/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?  (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
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