Elections deferred in Hong Kong, where the crackdown on pro-democracy intensifies

Élections reportées à Hong Kong, où la répression contre les prodémocratie s’intensifie

Hong Kong | The movement that is pro-democracy in Hong Kong has received Friday, a new slap with the postponement of the general elections because of the coronavirus, at the end of a month marked by the disqualification of their candidates, arrests of students and the departure into exile of opposition figures.

After a year of protests unprecedented in the former british colony since its handover in 1997, the central government of china has engaged in a taken in hand muscular of its territory is semi-autonomous, through a draconian law on the national security imposed at the end of June.

Many of the opponents had presented as the final nail on the coffin of the principle of ” One country, two systems “, which was supposed to guarantee until 2047 freedoms unknown elsewhere in mainland China.

The weeks that have followed its adoption confirmed the wince brutal, with a crackdown on pro-democracy.

Friday evening, the head of the local executive, Carrie Lam, who is appointed by Beijing, has announced the postponement of the elections, which were expected in September to renew the legislative Council (Legco, the Parliament).

The “resistance” will continue

She spoke of “the most difficult decision” to take since the arrival in January of the pandemic in the city-who knows since the beginning of the month a net increase – adding that Beijing supported this initiative.

This decision will fuel the anger of the camp, pro-democracy, which had urged Ms. Lam not to exploit a pandemic in order to protect themselves from a rout at the polls.

On Thursday, the authorities had announced the invalidation of the candidature of 12 militants pro-democracy in these elections.

“Our resistance will continue and we hope that the world will be at our side in the battles to come “, said Friday morning at a press conference Joshua Wong, who had by 2014 been the face of the ” Movement umbrellas “, and whose application was also rejected.

Dressed in a black t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase ” They can’t kill us all “, the activist, 23-year-old has blasted the disqualification of 12 candidates.

“This is without doubt the period of electoral fraud, the most scandalous in the history of Hong Kong “, said that the authorities had already prevented from presenting themselves to the local elections of November, during which the camp pro-democracy had triumphed.

Preposterous

In a press release, the executive has established a long list of the reasons for these disqualifications, citing the fact that some candidates have criticized the law on the safety or refused to recognize the chinese sovereignty.

More preposterous, it has been criticized by some, the fact that they have the intention to conquer the majority in the LegCo.

The camp pro-democracy hoped to capitalize on the popularity of the protests of the past year, and on his success in the local elections in November, for the first time the majority in a room that is as well composed as she leans normally almost automatically on the side of the pro-Beijing.

Over 600,000 hong Kong people had participated in mid-July to the primaries organised by the camp pro-democracy in this city of 7.5 million people, a consultation widely regarded as a great popular success.

Several local media had reported this week of the intention of the executive to postpone the elections due to the recent increase in cases of Covid-19, which prompted the authorities to harden considerably the restrictions.

“Collapse of constitutional”

More than half of the 3272 cases of coronavirus recorded in Hong Kong since the beginning of the month of July.

“This would be the total collapse of our constitutional system “, had warned in a press release, prior to the announcement of the postponement, a coalition of democratic parties.

After the elections of 2016, several of the elected pro-democracy had been disqualified for having deliberately altered their taking of the oath in order to show their hostility vis-à-vis the influence of China.

The invalidation of the nominations fell in less than 24 hours after the arrest Wednesday night of four students, three men and one woman between the ages of 16 to 21-year-old former member of an organization advocating the independence and recently dissolved.

These were the first arrests by the police unit based in hong kong created to enforce the law on the security. The four were released Friday on bail.

The day before, the camp pro-democracy had moved the dismissal, by the University of Hong Kong the law professor Benny Tai, who had been imprisoned in 2019, the last year for his role in the ” Movement umbrellas “.

Lawyer, a tireless non-violence, Mr. Tai was one of the organizers of the primary prodémocrates.

“The white Terror, the politics of fear are at work in Hong Kong “, has denounced Thursday a travelling companion of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, who is exiled in London.

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