Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement suffered a setback earlier this week after the entire bloc resigned to stand in solidarity with their colleagues who were disqualified from the legislative council over alleged unpatriotic activities. Chinese authorities have now signalled that those who stepped down may not be able to stand in future elections, which again has put the future of the movement behind stark darkness, reported The Guardian.
Sin Chung-kai, a member of the Democratic Party executive board, while talking to RTHK, said that even if candidates in the future dare to stand in the election under the pro-democracy banner, they will likely face a shrinking voter base because of people looking to emigrate in light of China's increasing influence over Hong Kong politics. Recently, the United Kingdom government had said they will set up a special visa for Hongkongers who would like to migrate to the country.
The policy by the United Kingdom was announced after China introduced the draconian National Security Law in June this year. Canada has also introduced a similar provision to encourage Hongkongers to seek residency in the country. Critics allege that the law was meant to further curb the freedom of speech of pro-democracy activists in the former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997. After the introduction of the security law, several pro-democracy activists have fled the city, while some were arrested.
Hong Kong government disqualified four lawmakers on Wednesday, November 11 after mainland China gave them the right to remove any legislator deemed a threat to national security. According to BBC, the disqualification came after the National People's Congress Standing Committee, which is one of China's top lawmaking bodies, allowed Hong Kong to remove legislators, who posed a national security threat, without having to go through the court process.
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