Date
24 May 2017
The High Court has ruled against a challenge by Joshua Wong (inset) to have the minimum age requirement cut for candidates for elective office. Photos: HKEJ
The High Court has ruled against a challenge by Joshua Wong (inset) to have the minimum age requirement cut for candidates for elective office. Photos: HKEJ

Joshua Wong loses High Court bid to lower election age

Democracy activist Joshua Wong will not be gunning for election anytime soon.

Wong lost his bid to have the minimum age lowered for candidates for elective office, dashing his hopes to run in the Legislative Council elections in September.

The High Court ruled that it is “reasonable” to set a higher minimum age for candidates than that for voters, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Wong, 19, had argued that the minimum age of candidates should be lowered from 21 to 18, the current voting age.

Wong is the secretary general of Demosistō, a political party hived off from Scholarism, the student activist group he founded which played a key role in the 2014 democracy protests.

Wong applied for judicial review in October, saying the age requirement is unconstitutional and violates the rights of citizens to participate in elections.

However, the High Court ruled that the right to vote and the right to be elected are different issues.

It said it is reasonable to set a higher minimum age for the latter, with reference to the age requirement in many countries.

High Court Judge Thomas Au said the minimum age for candidates is a political decision and should be a matter for the legislature.

Wong said he respects the ruling, adding he will discuss it with his lawyers before deciding whether to appeal.

He said the ruling will not affect his party’s preparations for the Legco elections.

[Chinese version 中文版]

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