League of Social Democrats to boycott upcoming polls

The League of Social Democrats announced on Tuesday it is not going to field candidates in the upcoming election committee or Legislative Council polls, saying Hong Kong has lost a fair and just electoral system following Beijing’s overhaul.

The pro-democracy group urged its allies to also boycott the polls, but said members of the public should still use their votes to express their “true opinions”.

Under the revamped system, the expanded election committee will not only pick the Chief Executive, but will also choose 40 members of Legco and be responsible for screening the eligibility of candidates to make sure they are “patriots”.

“Joining an election and entering the council is to facilitate, not weaken, the democratic movement,” the LSD said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

“If the election results have already been pre-decided by the authorities, then the meaning of an election is gone and we will not participate in it.”

The LSD said people should understand that it’s no longer possible to push for democracy through Legco, adding that they should continue to fight for their cause by getting the support of people on the mainland and the international community.

The group’s former lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung and district councillor Jimmy Sham are currently in custody after being charged with subversion over last year’s primaries for Legco elections that were later cancelled.

Last month, the Democratic Party said “messengers from Beijing” have urged party members to run in the Legco polls in December, even though most of the group’s supporters were against the idea.

Party chairman Lo Kin-hei said a final decision will be made in September.