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Disqualification not the end, says Hong Kong opposition candidate

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong district councillor Tiffany Yuen’s election bid may be over, cut short by the authorities, but the message behind her campaign poster still stands, she said in a social media post on Friday.

Pro-democracy activist Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai poses during her election campaign in this undated picture taken in Hong Kong, China, and obtained from social media on July 31, 2020. Tiffany Yuen/Twitter/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

A day earlier, Hong Kong disqualified Yuen and 11 other pro-democracy candidates from running in a key election, citing reasons including collusion with foreign forces and opposition to the new China-imposed national security laws.

The poster Yuen posted online shows her clad in a simple white shirt, standing in front of a group of pro-democracy activists, dressed in their now-customary black. Yuen, 26, is the only one with her face uncovered.

Joshua Wong, 23, who became an international figure leading months-long protests in Hong Kong as a teenager in 2012 and 2014, is also pictured.

“What I and the team behind me want to say is, this election does not belong to the candidate,” she wrote on Instagram.

“I’m an individual, but at the same time I’m not just one person ... you will ban more people tomorrow, but it is impossible to ban the entire movement.”

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Friday postponed the election for a year because of a spike in novel coronavirus cases, in a further blow to the pro-democracy opposition hoping to make gains in the vote.

The poll would have been the former British colony’s first official vote since Beijing imposed a new security law in late June, which critics say aims to quash dissent in China’s freest city.

Critics said the disqualifications sought to curb the ascendancy of a young, more defiant generation of democrats after an overwhelming win in last year’s lower-level district council elections.

“There is no need for everyone to be shocked, let alone panic. The resistance will not be ended, and the breakthrough has already begun,” Yuen wrote.

Reporting by Karishma Singh and Clare Jim; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky