10/29/2019, 11.14
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Democratic activist Joshua Wong banned from running in district elections

by Paul Wang

According to an electoral official, he was not convincing in rejecting the idea of ​​"independence" for Hong Kong. The young 23-year-old is among the most listened to and protagonist of the "umbrella movement" (Occupy Central). The decision to exclude Wong appears to be aimed precisely against youth activism. Hundreds of policemen in riot gear against possible attacks on the office of the Electoral Office.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The democratic activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung will not be able to run in the district elections to be held in the territory on November 24th. The reason is that according to an electoral officer he was not convincing in rejecting the idea of ​​"independence" for Hong Kong.

In a press release the government explains that "the candidate cannot possibly comply with the requirements of the relevant electoral laws, since advocating or promoting ‘self-determination’ is contrary to the content of the declaration that the law requires a candidate to make to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

Wong is the only candidate to be excluded. He wanted to compete in the South Horizons West district elections.

Joshua Wong, 23, emerged among the most listened to leaders at the time of the "umbrella movement" (Occupy Central). He was sentenced to prison for invading government offices in 2014 and is among the members who support the Demosisto party which in the past claimed the independence of Hong Kong from China.

Four days ago, Wong was questioned by election officer Laura Liang Aron, who explained that "Demosisto does not promote and does not support the independence" of the territory. But Aron did not believe him, defining his words "a compromise, rather than a true intention".

The exclusion of Joshua Wong from the elections risks increasing tensions between the government and the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong which has been manifested for months by universal suffrage. Hundreds of police in riot gear were deployed around the Electoral Office to defend the site from possible attacks.

The government's move seems to want to crush the commitment of young people in politics. In the past, some young people elected as parliamentarians were excluded citing formal reasons and inaccuracies in the oath.

The decision to exclude Wong appears to be aimed precisely against youth activism. Another candidate, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, already excluded from the election as a supporter of "self-determination", was accepted this time. The Electoral Officer asked him if he had renounced the idea of ​​"self-determination" and Chu only replied "yes".

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