Asia

Activist Joshua Wong barred from Hong Kong election

HONG KONG: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was barred on Tuesday (Oct 29) from standing in an upcoming local election, after months of huge and frequently violent protests in the city.

Wong, one of the most prominent figures in the otherwise leaderless and faceless movement, accused the government of "political screening" after an election officer ruled his nomination for the November poll invalid.

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"I strongly condemn the government for conducting political screening and censorship, depriving me of my political rights," he said in a statement on his Facebook page.

READ: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong among 3 charged for participating in protests

In response to media enquiries, a government spokesman said Wong's nomination was declared invalid as he advocates "self-determination" for Hong Kong, which is inconsistent with the Basic Law, the city's mini-constitution.

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"The candidate cannot possibly comply with the requirements of the relevant electoral laws," the spokesman added.

Hong Kong has been battered by nearly five months of huge and frequently violent protests which Beijing and its local leaders have taken a hard line against.

Millions have hit the streets, with hardcore activists clashing repeatedly with police, in the biggest challenge to China's rule since the city's handover from Britain in 1997.

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong talks to the media outside the Legislative Council during a demonstration demanding Hong Kong's leaders to step down and withdraw the extradition Bill, Jun 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter)

Wong, 22, is one of the most well-known pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong today after becoming the poster child of the huge "Umbrella Movement" protests of 2014 that failed to win any concessions from Beijing.

Wong and his party, Demosisto, have denied supporting independence for the city.

Any talk of independence incenses Beijing as Chinese President Xi Jinping increasingly emphasises the importance of territorial integrity.

READ: Joshua Wong: Poster child of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Movement'

READ: China warns Hong Kong protesters: 'Those who play with fire will perish by it'

The government spokesman denied any political censorship in the decision to disqualify Wong.

"There is no question of any political censorship, restriction of the freedom of speech or deprivation of the right to stand fRead More – Source

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