Date
26 April 2018
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China hold a wreath-laying ceremony beside the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower on Thursday to pay tribute to those who died  in the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. Photo: HKEJ
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China hold a wreath-laying ceremony beside the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower on Thursday to pay tribute to those who died in the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident. Photo: HKEJ

Democrats vow to continue calling for end to one-party rule

Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, pledged that his group will stand by its principles, yield to no political pressure, and continue chanting slogans that include “end one-party dictatorship in China”.

The alliance, organizer of the annual June 4 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park, held a wreath-laying ceremony beside the Tsim Sha Tsui clock tower on Thursday, the Qingming Festival that is also called Tomb Sweeping Day, to pay tribute to the dead students and activists in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

With a monument of democracy martyrs and a “Goddess of Liberty” statue put at the scene, groups and individuals participated in the ceremony by standing in silent tribute to the fallen dissidents.

Ho, a former Democratic Party lawmaker and a lawyer by profession, was quoted by Apple Daily as saying after the ceremony that “end one-party rule” has been as one of the alliance’s five main creeds and it will never scrap it.

The alliance will not cringe before any power and give up freedom of speech, Ho said, adding that if people are banned from running in future elections because they support the “end one-party rule” call, that would mean Hong Kong is no longer itself and cannot succeed in its efforts anymore.

Tam Yiu-chung, who in March replaced Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai as Hong Kong member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), China’s top parliamentary decision-making body, for a five-year term, warned after he was elected that people who call for an end to one-party rule may be disqualified from future Legislative Council elections.

The warning sparked criticism almost immediately from law experts and pan-democratic lawmakers, who pointed out that nowhere in the Basic Law – Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – is it specified that Hongkongers must uphold the national constitution. 

Last month the NPC approved amendments to the constitution, including Article 1 which provides that the leadership of the Communist Party is an essential attribute of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Tam reiterated in a radio program on Thursday that his comments were only based on his personal analysis and were notmade on the central government’s instruction.

The NPCSC member also said it doe not matter to him if some groups will still urge an end to one-party rule on June 4 this year since he has no way to stop them.

Separately, members of several pro-democracy groups, including China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group and League of Social Democrats, marched on Thursday from Western Police Station to Beijing’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun to show their support for jailed activists and human rights lawyers in China.

Some of the protesters wore T-shirts with the slogan “End one-party dictatorship”.

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TL/BN/CG

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