High profile pro-democracy activist, Joshua Wong, said on Tuesday that he had been barred from running in the upcoming Hong Kong district council elections.
The activist said he was the only candidate who had been banned from running in the November elections thus far.
Judge Laura Aron ruled on Tuesday morning that Wong’s nomination was invalid, a document shared by Wong on Twitter showed.
The document cites his alleged promotion of self determination for Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region of China, as the basis for Aron’s decision.
Prior to the decision, Wong was questioned by election officers on three separate occasions, particularly in regards to his stance on independence for Hong Kong.
In a press statement, Wong condemned the government’s implementation of political examination and selection, saying that the process and final decision deprived him of his right to stand for election.’’
A spokesman for the Hong Kong government responded in support of the ruling in a press release.
The press release stated that self-determination or supporting the independence of Hong Kong was inconsistent with the constitutional and legal status of the special administrative region.
In a tweet, Wong stated that the ruling proved how Beijing manipulated Hong Kong elections with political censorship and screening.
Wong first became known in 2014 as a student leader of the Umbrella Movement, when thousands took to the streets in Hong Kong’s Central district to demand universal suffrage for the territory.
In response to questioning from election officials, Wong has repeatedly stated that he does not advocate independence.
But rather the preservation of the one country, two systems framework that was promised when the British returned Hong Kong, a former crown colony, to Chinese rule in 1997.
A fellow Demosisto party member, Agnes Chow, was barred from running for office in 2018 under similar terms.
However, the ruling was overturned in September on the grounds that Chow was not given the opportunity to refute the terms of her disqualification.
The Independent Party was officially banned in 2018.
Wong belongs to the Demosisto party, which advocates for electoral reforms including universal suffrage, one of the five demands of the ongoing protest movement, now in its fifth month.(dpa/NAN)