HONG KONG –
Supporters of Hong Kong democracy are angry after the government blocked the founders of a 21-year-old political party to advance in the upcoming elections. The activists say this move is the latest attempt to silence the opposition in the Chinese territory.
In a letter to Agnes Chow, a leading figure in the political struggle, a Hong Kong city election official questioned the platform of the party he represented, the Demosisto Party, which contained the words "promoting self-determination and democracy." As a member of the party, the letter said, he clearly did not intend to respect the constitution of Hong Kong
Pro-democracy MPs and legal experts said the disqualification of Agnes Chow was colored by political screening , and not a fair, judicial, and nonjudgmental decision.
About 2,000 people gathered on a cloudy Sunday afternoon in the center of the Hong Kong government to denounce the decision.
"If we do not fight for our rights, they will seize each of our rights, until we have no rights whatsoever," said former lawmaker and lawyer Margaret Ng to protest participants yelling, "We will fight in court, we will fight in Hong Kong, we will fight in the world!"
During the rally, Agnes Chow reminded that members of her party have been physically beaten, fired from their posts, and imprisoned. "If the regime in power does this, the goal is not only me, or the democrats, but all Hong Kong residents. "This disqualification decision tells all Hong Kong citizens, we can only choose people who are accepted by the regime." [ps/jm]