Joshua Wong fights a ruling that says you have to be 21 to apply for a seat in HK's legislature

Joshua Wong fights a ruling that says you have to be 21 to apply for a seat in HK's legislature

He's always been political, but now he is challenging a rule that says people need to be 21 to seek a seat in the city's legislature

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Joshua Wong is taking his politics to the next level.
Photo: Felix Wong/SCMP

Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung is launching a court battle to fight a minimum age of 21 for people who want a seat in the city's legislature. Wong says he could run for a Legislative Council seat next year if he wins.

Wong, who turned 19 yesterday, on Monday filed a judicial review application to the High Court challenging the rule, arguing that most other countries - including the mainland - allow people to run for government at 18.

"It is ironic that people can stand for election to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at just 18 years old," he said outside court. "It is really unreasonable that the age limit for challenging the Hong Kong Legislative Council election is 21 years old."

Wong, founder of student group Scholarism, was a key figure in last year's Occupy Central protests.

"After the 'umbrella movement', we hope to encourage more young people to bring their ideas, such as self-determination and future problems in Hong Kong, from the streets to Legco," he said.

Article 26 of the Basic Law says all Hong Kong residents have the right to vote and the right to stand for election.

Wong says this means people aged between 18 and 20 are treated unfairly.

Leo Vincent Wagner, a 15-year-old German Swiss International School student, said if a young politician won a Legislative Council seat, they could stand up for the opinions of young people.

Scarlet Au Ming-sha, 14, a student at Chinese International School, pointed out that if 18-year-old students got into politics, they would have to balance studies and work.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Joshua Wong wants to make it official

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