Hong Kong election delay “further denial of Hong Kong’s autonomy”

Friday, July 31, 2020 11:30 AM

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, announced today that the city’s 2020 Legislative Council election will be postponed for 12 months. Although she cited the Covid-19 pandemic as justification, grassroots advocacy organisation Stand with Hong Kong has condemned the announcement as “a disingenuous machination to erode further Hong Kong’s limited democracy”.

Delaying the elections by such an extensive period of time undermines the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which guarantees Hong Kong’s autonomy; Hong Kong’s Basic Law, under which Articles 45 and 68 “ultimately aim” to protect universal suffrage; and violates Section 44 of the Legislative Council Ordinance, which states that elections may only be delayed for a maximum of 14 days.

This announcement is yet another escalation, following yesterday’s disqualification of twelve pro-democracy candidates in this now postponed election, and the arrest of student activists.

John Song, spokesperson for ‘Stand with Hong Kong’, said:

“This decision shows that Beijing and the local administration are tightening the noose on Hong Kong’s freedom. It also reveals that the test of the ballot box is the ultimate fear of the totalitarian Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“The CCP is hiding its real motives behind the smokescreen of the pandemic. With the recent primaries, in which 600,000 successfully participated, Hongkongers have already demonstrated that elections and social distancing are not incompatible. We call on the international community to stand with Hong Kong and to denounce China’s further denial of freedom and democracy promised to the city.”