Front-line activists won big in Hong Kong polls. Beijing is not amused Front

Front-line activists won big in Hong Kong polls. Beijing is not amused Front

  • Analysts say Beijing could bar pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong from running in legislative elections in September, a move that could trigger street unrest.

Beijing could further crack down on Hong Kong’s political opposition ahead of key legislative elections in September, analysts say.

Chinese officials have lashed out at organizers of an unofficial primary over the weekend after activists on the front lines of anti-government protests outperformed their rivals in the opposition bloc.

Two central government offices overseeing Hong Kong affairs have accused the primary’s organizers of trying to subvert state power in breach of a new national security law. It may portend the mass disqualification of pro-democracy candidates that could lead to further unrest, observers said.

“They might see the high turnout as a result of the mobilization of foreign forces and then denounce the primary as a collusion plot that threatens China’s stability,” political analyst Johnny Lau said.

“They are now planting the seeds for concrete action in future to bar candidates,” Lau said, which he warned could trigger a public backlash.