Washington, Jul 31 (PTI) The US on Friday condemned the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone its legislative council elections by one year in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, saying the move undermines democratic processes.
The government invoked an emergency ordinance to delay the polls. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the government will hold the polls in September 2021.
'We condemn the Hong Kong government's decision to postpone by one year its legislative council elections and to disqualify opposition candidates,' White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news conference here.
'This action undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned Hong Kong's prosperity. And this is only the most recent in a growing list of broken promises by Beijing which promised autonomy and freedoms to the people of Hong Kong until 2047 in the Sino-British Joint Declaration,' she said, responding to a question on the Chinese government-backed adminstration's decision to delay elections.
In a statement, Senator Marco Rubio, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations' Subcommittee that oversees human rights and affairs on democracy, said the actions of the Hong Kong government on Thursday to disqualify 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in the Legislative Council election, including prominent leaders Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, strips the people of Hong Kong of their voice and secures Beijing's control.
'The Chinese Communist Party's determination to remake the city in its image is an outrage and a tragedy for those who support the cause of freedom. The US and the international community must respond to these assaults by the CCP and assist Hong Kongers who will need protection from political persecution,' he said. PTI LKJ IND