Hong Kong postpones elections for a year 'over virus concerns'
August 1, 2020 8:49 am
Carrie Lam said there were no political motives behind her move - but opposition activists disagree. [Source: BBC]
The Hong Kong government has postponed September’s parliamentary elections by a year, saying it is necessary amid a rise in coronavirus infections.
Hong Kong is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 infections and reported 121 new cases on Friday.
However, the opposition has accused the government of using the pandemic as a pretext to stop people from voting.
On Thursday, the government banned 12 pro-democracy candidates from running in the elections.
Opposition activists had hoped to obtain a majority in the Legislative Council in September’s poll, capitalising on anger at Beijing’s imposition of controversial national security law in Hong Kong, and fears that the territory’s freedoms are being eroded.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was handed back to China in 1997 under an agreement meant to guarantee a high degree of autonomy for 50 years.