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US, UK and allies call for prompt Hong Kong elections

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LONDON: Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand urged Hong Kong Sunday (Aug 9) to hold elections as soon as possible, warning the authorities about moves to "undermine the democratic process".

Their statement came as Chinese lawmakers convene to decide on the next steps after Hong Kong's Legislative Council elections scheduled for Sep 6 were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus.

The foreign ministers of the five countries said they were "gravely concerned by the Hong Kong government's unjust disqualification of candidates and disproportionate postponement of Legislative Council elections.

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"These moves have undermined the democratic process that has been fundamental to Hong Kong's stability and prosperity."

They urged "the Hong Kong government to hold the elections as soon as possible".

READ: US blacklists Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, other officials

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has said it would be pragmatic to extend the term of the current legislature.

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But there is a question mark over what to do about four opposition lawmakers who have been barred from seeking re-election.

The four pro-democracy legislators were disqualified for breaching a new national security law by calling for international sanctions on Beijing and Hong Kong.

In their statement, the five foreign ministers called for the disqualifiedRead More – Source

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