The foreign ministers of the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, along with the US Secretary of State, issued a joint statement on Sunday night saying they were gravely concerned by "the Hong Kong government’s unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections."
The officials, from the nations making up the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance, said the moves had "undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity".
"We express deep concern at Beijing’s imposition of the new National Security Law, which is eroding the Hong Kong people’s fundamental rights and liberties," the statement said.
It added that the five countries support the "legitimate expectations of the people of Hong Kong to elect Legislative Council representatives via genuinely free, fair, and credible elections".
The five officials called for the reinstatement of the 12 disqualified would-be candidates, including incumbent lawmakers Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki, Alvin Yeung and Kenneth Leung.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter: "The US is joining like-minded countries in expressing our concerns about Hong Kong’s National Security Law and the erosion of fundamental rights and liberties in Hong Kong. We urge their government to hold Legislative Council elections as soon as possible."
At the end of July, Chief Executive Carrie Lam cited the coronavirus pandemic as she announced that the next Legco elections would be postponed by a year until September 5, 2021.
The NPC Standing Committee is expected to decide this week what should be done regarding the SAR's legislature in the meantime.
Five Eyes ministers blast Legco bans, postponement
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