Agnes Chow has been barred from running in the March 11 by-election on Hong Kong Island. File photo: RTHK
Britain says it is concerned by the decision to bar Demosisto’s Agnes Chow from the Legco by-elections in March.
In a brief statement, the country’s foreign office says “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, and its rights and freedoms, are central to its way of life, and it is important that they should be fully respected”.
The statement points out that the right to stand for election is a fundamental right enshrined in Article 26 of the Basic Law as well as in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.
The comment comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May is on a visit to China.
In a recent letter to Downing Street, former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten urged May to challenge Beijing over what he said was an erosion of rights and freedoms in the SAR.
The SAR government has denied putting pressure on the returning officer for Hong Kong Island to bar Chow from the March 11 poll. The election official said Demosisto’s advocacy of self-determination for the Hong Kong people shows Chow would not seek to uphold the Basic Law.
On Wednesday evening, the pan-democrat camp’s backup choice for the vacant Hong Kong Island seat, district councillor Au Nok-hin, was told he will be allowed to stand in the by-election.