Wong's election hopes remain questionable

Top News | Cindy Wan 28 Oct 2019

Activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung has yet to get the green light to run in the district council elections despite answering questions from returning officers for the third time about independence.

Wong, 23, of Demosisto, attended an event for 17 pro-democracy candidates standing in the Southern District elections yesterday, although his candidacy remains unconfirmed.

He said officers have been dragging their feet on his case as they cannot find any reason to disqualify him.

"I believe the returning officer, the government and Beijing could not reach a consensus," Wong said. "It's because the Foreign Ministry and [state media] People's Daily have labeled me as 'the mastermind of Hong Kong independence' multiple times."

He added: "However, people actually know that - right, Joshua Wong advocates self-determination - but none ever regarded Demosisto as separatist and localist. [The government] just can't find any legal ground to disqualify me."

Wong on Saturday replied in a letter questioning his stance on self-determination to returning officer Aron Laura Liang, whom he called "a new pen friend" after the original returning officer, Dorothy Ma Chow Pui-fun, went on sick leave.

"My stance is that any decision about Hong Kong's future should be made under the constitutional framework of one country, two systems," he replied.

"Demosisto's advocacy of self-determination, as I understand and support, does not promote or agree with having Hong Kong independence as an option under self-determination."

Wong is the only candidate whose nominations have yet to be confirmed or rejected.

His rivals for the November 24 elections in the South Horizons West constituency - New People's Party Judy Chan Ka-pui and democrat Kelvin Lam Ho-por - do not have candidate numbers because of Wong's status.

His case is being followed by foreign politicians.

On Twitter, US senators Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley voiced support for Wong's candidacy.

"Here's a test of Beijing's intentions toward Hong Kong: will they allow pro-democracy champion Joshua Wong to run ... [or] will they intervene and disbar him? The world is watching," Hawley tweeted.

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling online suggesting that Aron has moved into a safehouse arranged by police because she and her family have received death threats related to Wong's candidacy.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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