Hong Kong Umbrella Movement leader Joshua Wong banned from running in district council election

South China Morning Post

The pro-democracy activist was disqualified because an electoral officer believed he couldn't be loyal to mainland China

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Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on September 28 announces his plan to stand in the 2019 District Council elections. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Joshua Wong Chi-fung was banned from running in the upcoming district council elections on Tuesday, after an electoral officer refused to believe his political allegiance to mainland China, say two sources familiar with the case. 

The pro-democracy activist was the only candidate disqualified on the basis of his political stance from the polls, to be held on November 24.

The government said in a press release on Tuesday morning that decisions on the nominations of all candidates have been made.

Without naming Wong, it said: “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 HKSAR.”

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Wong had applied to run in the South Horizons West constituency of Southern District Council.

A former student leader of the 2014 Occupy movement, Wong had been grilled on his party Demosisto’s founding mission to strive for Hong Kong’s “self-determination”. The party had also called for a referendum including independence from the mainland as an option.

He had since clarified his position, saying the referendum would be non-binding. He also made clear he did not support Hong Kong’s separation from the rest of China, not even as an option.

The incumbent councillor of South Horizons West is Judy Chan Ka-pui of the New People’s Party. Just before deadline last week, Kelvin Lam Ho-por also enrolled and was widely believed to be Wong’s substitute in case the activist was barred from running.