Sunday, April 11, 2021
Array

Eddie Chu: Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker barred from contesting election

Headline

Rayyan Alhassan
https://dailynigerian.com/author/rayyan/
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
tiamin rice

Hong Kong authorities barred on Monday a pro-democracy lawmaker, Eddie Chu, from running in a local election.

He was barred for “implicitly” supporting Hong Kong’s independence from China, in what critics said was another instance of civil rights erosion in the China-ruled city.

Eddie Chu is a former journalist who was democratically elected as one of Hong Kong’s 70 legislators in a 2016 election.

Read also: 2019: We have no preferred candidates — OPC

He planned to contest a separate grassroots poll to represent a village in the rural hinterland of the New Territories.

But an official with Hong Kong’s Electoral Affairs Commission, Enoch Yuen, wrote to Chu on Sunday to disqualify his candidacy.

READ  Taiwan rescue workers pull more bodies from quake rubble

He was disqualified on the grounds that he had previously expressed support for “independence as an option for Hong Kong people to self-determine their future”.

READ  Hong Kong reports its first day of no new coronavirus cases

Read also: Catalonia postpones swearing in new regional government

While Chu had written to Yuen stating he didn’t support independence, she concluded that Chu’s answers “when viewed objectively, can be understood as implicitly confirming that his support for independence could be an option for Hong Kong people”.

Chu said he might challenge this “ridiculous” decision in court, and that he had been stripped of a fundamental political right at a time when Beijing has tightened its grip on the city.

He pointed out that he was already an elected lawmaker with strong public backing, whose suitability for public office had never previously been questioned.

Read also: $500m Chinese loan: No reason to panic, says DMO

READ  China wants to boost Hong Kong law enforcement, patriotism

“They need to clearly tell the people of Hong Kong, how they can, without any public consultation or legislative process, change the threshold of political screening.”

Hong Kong, a former British colony, reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 amid guarantees the territory would enjoy a high degree of autonomy and freedoms under a “one country, two systems” formula.

Over the past year, however, international concern has spread over a series of incidents that have further undermined confidence in Hong Kong’s rights landscape.

READ  China accuses Apple of aiding Hong Kong protests through toxic apps

Read also: EFCC traces N500m properties to ex-Plateau govenor, Jonah Jang

This includes the de facto expulsion of a British journalist after he hosted a speech by an independence activist at a press club.

READ  China accuses Apple of aiding Hong Kong protests through toxic apps

The move against Chu adds to a list of other democrats who have been banned from contesting elections.

This is fuelling fears of tightening political “red lines” by Beijing that could deny Hong Kong’s disaffected young people any mainstream political careers beyond street protest.

In a statement, a government spokesman said late on Sunday that the government “agrees to and supports the decision” to ban Chu.

It also denied there had been “any political censorship, restriction of the freedom of speech or deprivation of the right to stand for elections”.

Hong Kong authorities say “self-determination”, or seeking greater autonomy from China, violates the city’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, which states that Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.

Reuters/NAN

Related News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
READ  British PM Johnson tells China, ‘We’ll not walk away from Hong Kong people’

Latest News

cosgrove