Teen forms po­lit­i­cal party

Lesotho Times - - International -

HONG KONG — Hong Kong teen ac­tivist Joshua Wong (pictured) on Sun­day un­veiled a new po­lit­i­cal party that plans to field can­di­dates in up­com­ing elec­tions, mark­ing the next step in the pro-democ­racy move­ment’s evo­lu­tion in the south­ern Chi­nese city.

Wong and sev­eral other young ac­tivists who led pro-democ­racy protests that gripped Hong Kong for 79 days in late 2014 said their new party is called De­mo­sisto.

The teenager was the most vis­i­ble face of the street protests, in which young ac­tivists oc­cu­pied ma­jor thor­ough­fares of the semi-au­ton­o­mous Chi­nese re­gion to protest Bei­jing’s plan to re­strict elec­tions. While the protests fiz­zled out af­ter Hong Kong’s Bei­jing-backed leader re­fused to make any con­ces­sions, they also spawned a new wave of groups with more rad­i­cal views, in­clud­ing ad­vo­cat­ing in­de­pen­dence from China.

Wong is the group’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, although at 19 years old he is two years too young to run for a seat in ci­ty­wide elec­tions for the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil set for Septem­ber.

Last month, he an­nounced he was dis­solv­ing Schol­ar­ism, a protest group he helped found, in or­der to con­cen­trate on the new party. Schol­ar­ism, which com­prised mostly high school­ers, was at the fore­front of the 2014 protests.

De­mo­sisto’s chair, Nathan Law, said he and two other mem­bers of the group are con­sid­er­ing con­test­ing seats in the elec­tion, which will pit pro-bei­jing par­ties against pro-democ­racy groups.

Wong said De­mo­sisto’s long-term goal is to hold a ref­er­en­dum in a decade to de­cide whether Hong Kong should have self-de­ter­mi­na­tion for its fu­ture af­ter 2047, when a 50-year tran­si­tion pe­riod fol­low­ing its han­dover from Bri­tain to China ends.

“We know we can’t achieve self-de­ter­mi­na­tion in one sin­gle step, so we pro­pose a 10-year timetable for the plan,” Wong said, adding that the party would lobby for in­ter­na­tional sup­port for its cause. “We hope to de­cide our sec­ond fu­ture through a uni­ver­sal ref­er­en­dum.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.