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World Hong Kong legislative elections postponed, democrats cry foul

21:05  01 august  2020
21:05  01 august  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

The EU will limit the export of certain technologies to Hong Kong

 The EU will limit the export of certain technologies to Hong Kong CHINA-HONG-KONG-UNION: The EU will limit the export of certain technologies to Hong Kong © Reuters / YVES HERMAN THE EU WILL LIMIT THE EXPORT OF CERTAIN TECHNOLOGIES TO HONG KONG BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will limit the export to Hong Kong of technologies that could be used for surveillance or repression, reads a draft document European Union that Reuters was able to consult.

In a politically turbulent Hong Kong, the decision to postpone legislative elections for the first time since the city’s return to China is likely to fan flames even further.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020. © Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam speaks during a press conference at the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 31, 2020.

Citing a recent surge in coronavirus cases, Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced on Friday evening that elections for seats in the city’s legislature will not go ahead on the scheduled date of Sept. 6.

Hong Kong: Joshua Wong and eleven pro-democracy candidates excluded from the legislative elections

 Hong Kong: Joshua Wong and eleven pro-democracy candidates excluded from the legislative elections © Provided by Le Point joshua wong, hongkong The candidatures for the Hong Kong legislative elections of twelve pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, a figure in the Umbrella movement, have been invalidated.

Such is the sensitivity of the issue, though, that Lam spoke for 30 minutes before revealing that the hotly contested elections would instead be held a whole year later, on Sept. 5, 2021.

Lam said she is invoking emergency powers to push back the date and that the delay is "supported" by Beijing.

Lam described it as "the hardest decision I have made in the past seven months”, adding that it was "necessary" to "protect public health, people's lives and guarantee fairness of the election.”

Hong Kong is currently in its third and most widespread wave of infections with more than 1,800 cases over the last three weeks.

Hong Kong Will Delay Upcoming Legislative Elections, SCMP Says

  Hong Kong Will Delay Upcoming Legislative Elections, SCMP Says Hong Kong’s government is set to announce Friday a delay to upcoming legislative elections as a result of a recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported, citing sources it didn’t identify. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Legislative Council election was due to be held on Sept. 6, but a flurry of media reports earlier this week suggested the vote could be delayed by as long as a year.

Lam noted that the pandemic has forced other places to delay elections, including the United Kingdom and the Australian state of New South Wales. However, elections in Singapore and South Korea have gone ahead.

Former legislator Emily Lau told ABC News that the government is using the coronavirus outbreak as an “excuse” to delay an election that would have dealt pro-Beijing heavyweights a crushing defeat.

MORE: Trump suggests delaying 2020 election, a power designated to Congress

"Who is Carrie Lam trying to fool?" said Lau, who served as a lawmaker for 25 years after becoming the first woman to be elected in 1991.

"Pro-Beijing political parties and candidates are worried they will lose the election very badly, like they lost in the district council election last year," said Lau.

The move comes on the heels of a controversial decision to bar 12 pro-democratic candidates from taking part in the election.

Hong Kong: Carrie Lam announces the postponement of legislative elections due to the coronavirus

 Hong Kong: Carrie Lam announces the postponement of legislative elections due to the coronavirus © REUTERS / Tyrone Siu The head of the Hong Kong executive during an update on the coronavirus epidemic, July 19, 2020. The head of the Hong Kong executive announced, this Friday, July 31, the postponement of the legislative elections which were scheduled for September, due to the increase in cases of coronavirus. A decision that risks fueling the anger of the pro-democracy camp.

Among the disqualified candidates are prominent activist Joshua Wong and Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung.

a man and a woman taking a selfie: Pro-democracy activists Ivan Lam, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive to the Eastern Court for hearing in Hong Kong, China July 6, 2020. © Tyrone Siu/Reuters Pro-democracy activists Ivan Lam, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive to the Eastern Court for hearing in Hong Kong, China July 6, 2020.

Before the disqualifications, the pan-democratic camp was expected to gain a historic majority in the legislature from the momentum of the protests last year, as well as the unpopularity of the National Security Law.

On Wednesday night, police arrested four people aged 16-21 on suspicion of being involved in an online group that pledged to fight for Hong Kong independence, something that is illegal under the new law.

For Emily Lau, these recent developments are a clear sign that China is breaking promises made in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration.

"This policy of One Country, Two Systems, under which Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy, human rights, the rule of law and personal safety. I think that’s all gone out of the window. It is a very, very sad day for Hong Kong.”

Prior to Lam’s announcement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that if the September elections were postponed "it will be another marker that will simply prove that the Chinese Communist Party has now made Hong Kong just another communist-run city."

MORE: As Trump suggests delaying election, White House condemns Hong Kong for postponing its own vote

In postponing the elections, the Hong Kong government now faces a constitutional conundrum.

The Basic Law only allows for a two-week delay. Lam may need Beijing to step in to amend the city’s mini-constitution to allow the current legislature to serve for one more year.

To make matters more complicated, some of the candidates who were disqualified are incumbent lawmakers. The question becomes: Will they be allowed to stay?

China to decide fate of Hong Kong legislature after term expires .
Chinese lawmakers met Saturday to decide on how to deal with the legislative vacuum left by postponing Hong Kong elections. The Legislative Council elections scheduled for September 6 have been postponed for a year due the coronavirus pandemic. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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