At a press conference, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam explained the movement to postpone the Legislative Council elections, slated for September 6, has been the toughest decision she’d made at the previous seven weeks. She added that she had the aid of the Chinese central authorities in creating this decision.Lam stated that the delay was required to safeguard public health and assure equity in the election.Infections in the virus have rapidly risen in recent months, after falling to zero daily transmissions in June, and health officials have warned of a possible crisis if it’s not brought under control. “The new wave of epidemics may take a few weeks or more. Even if the preceding knowledge in April or May, even when the outbreak stabilizes, the society will require a while to recuperate. Experts say unless it’s instant that they grow and furnish vaccines that are effective, otherwise a winter epidemic is quite likely to happen by the close of the calendar year,” explained Lam.She invoked a colonial-era crisis regulations ordinance to postpone the regional elections. Under the Basic Law — Hong Kong’s mini constitution — Legislative Council conditions are confined to four decades. Lam said she’s therefore achieved into the Central People’s Government for advice regarding the way to manage this one-year “vacuum.” She said Beijing will make a submission to the National People’s Congress standing committee for a decisionLam stated that while it is not up to her, she believes a logical solution would be to allow the current Legislative Council to continue to get the next year.Some pro-democracy activists including Joshua Wong have claimed the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to indefinitely postpone a crucial election for Hong Kong.They have accused the government of wanting to avoid a potential loss following China’s imposition of a new national security law on the city, banning secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The democratic camp had set its sights on winning a majority in the 70-member Legislative Council polls this September. Opposition parties had aimed to ride a wave of discontent with the government to a historic victory in the semi-democratic legislature, where just under half the seats are controlled by so-called functional constituencies, which represent business and society groups and are typically pro government.A recent primary election designed to narrow down the number of pro-democracy opposition candidates attracted more than 600,000 votes, far more than the 170,000 or so organizers were hoping for. The turnout attracted the ire of Beijing, however, which suggested the vote was illegally interfering with the upcoming poll.Last year, pro-democracy candidates won a landslide victory in local council elections. A similar result in the legislative council could put them in a position to force a constitutional crisis by blocking the budget and pressuring Lam to resign. Both the Chinese and Hong Kong governments have suggested such a plan could be illegal under the new national security law.This week, a dozen pro-democracy candidates including Wong were barred from standing for election. In a statement, the Hong Kong government stated it supported the decisions by returning officers for “invalidate 12 nominees for this year’s Legislative Council (LegCo) General Election.”It said the candidates had been barred on the grounds that they would not uphold the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s de facto constitution, and suggested more could be disqualified in future. The government said it “respects and safeguards the lawful rights of Hong Kong people, including the right to vote and the right to stand for elections.” Several letters posted online by disqualified candidates from returning officers informing them of their decision cited previous opposition to the security law as that a reason for the move.”The excuse they use is that I describe (the security law) as a draconian law, which shows that I do not support this sweeping law,” Wong said.Another disqualified candidate, Dennis Kwok, was reportedly barred because of his having expressed an intention to use his position as a legislator “in such a way as to force the government to accede to certain demands,” effectively the job of an opposition lawmaker in most democratic countries. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which represents lawmakers in multiple countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, said the disqualifications, as well as the delay to the election, “represent unacceptable obstructions of the democratic process in Hong Kong and raise further concerns about the erosion of rights and freedoms in town.” This breaking story has been updated with additional reporting.Journalist Phoebe Lai at Hong Kong donated reporting.