The authorities in Hong Kong have deployed the new provisions for candidacy and taking up of public offices to expel 49 democratically elected District Councillors from their seats. A first group of more than 210 pro-democracy District Councillors felt compelled to resign from their positions before the process started.
These developments, based on very broad provisions in the law, negate the results of the November 2019 District Council elections, in which pro-democracy candidates secured more than 80% of the seats. Their exclusion from participation in political life weakens Hong Kong’s democratic governance structure.
Meanwhile, the pressure on civil society has increased. This …