Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to the media as he arrives at the High Court to lodge a judicial review over his disqualification from the 2019 district council elections, in Hong Kong on Aug. 7, 2020.

JOYCE ZHOU/Reuters

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong filed a court challenge on Friday against his disqualification from district polls, in a move which may have implications for this year’s removals of opposition candidates for the city’s legislature.

Wong, 23, was the only candidate in district council elections last year to have been disqualified, with authorities saying his candidacy contravened electoral laws that bar “advocating or promoting self-determination.”

Wong, who China calls a “black hand” of foreign forces, said at the time he supported the idea of a non-binding referendum for people to have a say over Hong Kong’s future status within China. But he is against independence which is anathema for Beijing.

Story continues below advertisement

“The reason I apply for judicial review is to make clear that the power of the returning officer keeps enlarging, they are just (pursuing a) political mission,” said Wong, referring to officials who vet candidates.

Wong, who became an international figure after leading protests as a teenager in 2012 and 2014, was also among 12 opposition candidates recently disqualified from running in elections for seats in the city’s legislature.

Those polls have been postponed by a year to Sept 2021, with the government citing coronavirus risks.

Grounds for disqualification included perceived subversive intentions, “opposition in principle” to a new national security law imposed by Beijing, and intentions to form a majority that could block government legislation.

If Wong’s court challenge on Friday is accepted, it could pave the way for legal challenges to the latest round of disqualifications.

The Hong Kong government’s decision to postpone the elections has been criticized by Western governments as an attempt to weaken the pro-democracy opposition in the Chinese-ruled, semi-autonomous city. Hong Kong authorities said the only consideration was public health.

Pro-democracy candidates won more than 80% of the district council seats last year and hoped to win an unprecedented majority in the legislature, riding momentum built on protests in 2019 and fuelled by resentment over the new security law.

Story continues below advertisement

Wong faces multiple charges for taking part in unlawful assemblies related to protests last year and on June 4, 2020 at a vigil commemorating China’s 1989 bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Beijing imposed the new security legislation on June 30 in response to last year’s protests to punish anything China considers to be secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

Critics of the legislation say it erodes the freedoms the former British colony was promised when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, while supporters say it will bring stability after a year of unrest and safeguard China from foreign interference.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies