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Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 23:41
Fair election under threat as Joshua Wong cites foreign interference
By Man Mo
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 23:41 By Man Mo

Demosisto Secretary-General Joshua Wong Chi-fung has announced he will be running for the upcoming District Council (DC) election in November. Wong warned that if he were to be disqualified, Hong Kong would be subject to local protests and international pressure, citing US Congress plans to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Wong has, in effect, not only threatened to use violence, but is also encouraging US interference in Hong Kong’s elections. Under such external interference, it is questionable whether Hong Kong can hold a fair and just election in November.

By inviting foreign intervention into Hong Kong’s internal affairs, they (Wong and other Demosisto members) are undermining our national sovereignty and in serious violation of the nation’s Constitution and the Basic Law. Now Wong is trying to compromise the fairness and integrity of the upcoming DC election by exploiting the US bill

According to the latest guidelines on election-related activities regarding the District Council election, candidates nominated for the DC election must satisfy the requirements in two parts. These are: the eligibility to be nominated as a candidate, and the requirements to be complied with by nominated candidates (including making a statutory declaration). It is specified on the DC nomination form that the candidate must declare he/she will uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the HKSAR.

For his treacherous actions over the years, Wong has been widely considered as a traitor to both the nation and the SAR. For example, he recently traveled around Taiwan, Germany and the United States to advocate separatism and invite foreign intervention into the nation’s and the SAR’s internal affairs. Since Wong has already announced his plan to participate in the election, he should first dispel public concerns about his secessionist activities in the past. He must categorically acknowledge that, according to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR, Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China and is directly under control of the Central People’s Government. Only by clarifying his previous separatist remarks and actions can he allow the public to see clearly whether he genuinely upholds the Basic Law and pledges allegiance to the HKSAR.

Whether Wong meets the legal requirements for his candidacy in the DC election will be determined by the returning officer, who should not be subject to any political interference, pressure or threat when evaluating the eligibility of candidates. But before Wong made known his intention to take part in the DC election, he vigorously lobbied the US Congress and government to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in his long trip to the US. And he revealed on social media on Sept 27 that he had, upon Washington’s request, provided a name list of all the returning officers of Hong Kong’s 18 districts to an advisory body of the US Congress “for reference”.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act proposed by US lawmakers, which blatantly interferes with China’s internal affairs, is designed as a tool to contain China by making trouble in Hong Kong.

Wong and other Demosisto members have been lobbying the US Congress regarding the act in recent years. By inviting foreign intervention into Hong Kong’s internal affairs, they are undermining our national sovereignty and in serious violation of the nation’s Constitution and the Basic Law. Now Wong is trying to compromise the fairness and integrity of the upcoming DC election by exploiting the US bill. This action alone is enough to cast doubt on his eligibility for participating in the election.

Wong further suggested that if his candidacy were not granted, the SAR government and the returning officer would have to confront local resistance. The so-called local resistance is in effect the violent protests happening in the past four months. His assertion is like blackmail, which includes threatening to mobilize mobs to launch violent demonstrations against the government and the returning officer involved if his candidacy is rejected. It is not hard to imagine the implications of these threats for the affected government officials.

Wong’s rhetoric has imposed serious political pressure on and constituted intimidation of the SAR government and the returning officer, which in turn undermines the fairness and integrity of the DC election. It is imperative that the relevant authorities investigate the issue and allay public concerns, so a fair and just DC election can be conducted in the absence of external interference and violence.

The author is a member of the Academia think tank. This is an excerpt translation of his article published earlier in Hong Kong Commercial Daily.


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