Hong Kong Politics & Protest

In Pictures: District councillors seeking answers over Agnes Chow election ban blocked from meeting

Pro-democracy Eastern district councillors seeking answers over Agnes Chow’s disqualification from the Legislative Council by-elections were blocked from entering a meeting room by unknown “security guards” on Tuesday.

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

On Saturday, Chow was barred over her association with her party Demosisto, which supports self-determination for Hong Kong people. The notice for the decision came from election officer Anne Teng. The government also said in a press release: “If a person advocates or promotes self-determination or independence by any means, he or she cannot possibly uphold the Basic Law or fulfil his or her duties as a legislator.”

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

Anne Teng is a also a district officer with the Eastern District. On Tuesday, pro-democracy district councillors planned to discuss Chow’s disqualification during the meeting and wanted to ask Teng to explain the decision.

Photo: In-Media.

However, the ten district councillors were blocked from the room by four men dressed in black, claiming to be security guards, In-Media reported. Pro-establishment lawmakers Wong Kwok-hing and Choy So-yuk also did not manage to enter.

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

Demosisto’s Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong, who intended on observing the meeting in the public seating area, were also barred from entering the meeting. Wong said that they queued up at 4am in the morning in order to obtain public passes.

However, council chairman Wong Kin-pan said that an observer of the meeting must register with their real names.

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

Chaos ensued as the two groups clashed with each other. “Who gave you the orders? Who are you?” one shouted at the four men.

At 2:45pm, 15 minutes after the meeting was set to begin, council chairman Wong announced that the meeting would be adjourned owing to a lack of quorum. Teng also did not make an appearance.

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

District Councillor Bonnie Leung claimed that the incident took place as the council knew that the pro-democracy councillors intended on bringing up an urgent question: “This is very scary – if the chairman arranges for security guards every time there is a controversial issue, then there will be no meetings at the Eastern District Council.”

district council meeting returning officer

Photo: In-Media.

Chow said she believes Teng should explain to the public the legal basis of the disqualification, and whether the decision involved a higher-ranking authority. Chief Executive Carrie Lam has denied that she or Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng have exerted any “pressure” over the decision-making process.

In Pictures: District councillors seeking answers over Agnes Chow election ban blocked from meeting