Get Demosist%C5%8D essential facts below. View Videos or join the Demosist%C5%8D discussion. Add Demosist%C5%8D to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.


ChairmanIvan Lam
Deputy ChairmanIssac Cheng
Secretary-GeneralJoshua Wong
Founded10 April 2016
Preceded byScholarism
Membership (2017)25
IdeologyLiberalism (Hong Kong)
Left-wing localism[1]
Left-wing populism
Direct democracy
Radical democracy
Social democracy
Political position
Regional affiliationPro-democracy camp
Colours     Turquoise
Legislative Council
District Councils
Traditional Chinese?
Simplified Chinese?
Literal meaningHong Kong's popular will

Demosist? (; Chinese: ?)[3] is a pro-democracy political group established on 10 April 2016 as a political party. It is led by the former leaders of Scholarism, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, along with former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS) Nathan Law. Scholarism and the HKFS were the two student activist groups which played an instrumental role in the 79-day occupy protests known as the Umbrella Revolution in 2014.[4]

Demosist? advocated a referendum to determine Hong Kong's sovereignty with the goal of obtaining autonomy[5] after 2047, when the One Country, Two Systems principle as promised in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law is supposed to expire. It won a seat in the 2016 Legislative Council election with its 23-year-old chairman Nathan Law becoming the youngest candidate ever to be elected.[4] In 2017, Law was disqualified from the Legislative Council over the oath-taking controversy and was imprisoned with Joshua Wong for the storming into the Civic Square during the Umbrella Revolution. After a series of disqualification of the Demosist? candidates, the party passed a resolution in January 2020 to abandon its advocacy on "democratic self-determination".[6]


The major missions of the group ?Demosist:

  • Self-determination: Demosist? aims to achieve 'democratic self-determination' in Hong Kong, and aspires to Hong Kong's political & economic autonomy from what they term 'the oppression of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and capitalist hegemony';
  • Development of civil society: Demosist? wants to encourage people of Hong Kong discuss their political views and the youth develop parties and civil movements;
  • Equality and justice, trust of people, multiplicity: Demosist? believes in Hong Kong people they are able to build Hong Kong as a City of multiplicity with the values of justice and equality.[5]
  • 'Battle' for democratic legislation to inspire civil movements: Ivan Lam, who succeeded Nathan Law in May 2018 as a chairman, said the group will prepare for 'battle' for democratic legislation in Hong Kong, meaning, for example, Article 23 in the Basic Law (a controversy bill in the Article 23 caused massive protests in 2003) or proposed Anthem bill about anthem of the People's Republic of China. The same time, May 2018, Demosist? changed their status from party to the group, when its candidates were banned on election in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong.[7]


The name is derived from the Greek "demos" ("", meaning "people", from which the English word "democracy" is derived) and Latin "sisto" (meaning "to stand", from which English words such as "insist", "persist" and "resist" are derived). Literally translated as "people to stand" in English, it means "stand for democracy", or "stand for the people".[8] The Chinese name means "the will of the people".[3][9][10]

The idea of forming Demosist? was inspired by Taiwan's New Power Party which was formed by the Sunflower Movement leaders and fared well in the 2016 Taiwanese legislative election. In February 2016, core figures of the student activist group Scholarism - Joshua Wong, Oscar Lai and Agnes Chow - who played an instrumental role in the 2014 Hong Kong protests, announced their plan of forming a new political party with other Umbrella Movement leaders, including Nathan Law, former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), to run in the September Legislative Council election.[11] Scholarism officially ceased functioning on 20 March 2016 as the group disallowed any party affiliation.[12]



The party was officially established on 10 April 2016 with former secretary-general of Hong Kong Federation of Students Nathan Law as chairman, former spokesman of Scholarism Oscar Lai as vice-chairman, former convenor as Joshua Wong as secretary-general and former core member Agnes Chow Ting as deputy secretary. Founding party members included Shu Kei, Dean of Film and Television at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as party's executive committee member, teacher Ng Mei-lan and Hong Kong Unison's Fermi Wong Wai-fun as member of the Kowloon East team.[13]

The Company Registry and police have yet to allow them to register as a company or society, as the registry had asked Demosist? to explain if it adheres to the Basic Law in pushing for Hong Kong's "self-determination" when the then-political party tried to register as a company. It was thus unable to set up its own bank account to raise funds as other parties and organisations did and had to rely instead on individual members' personal accounts.[14] Joshua Wong also accused HSBC of exercising "political censorship" in rejecting his request to open a joint savings account to handle the business of his political party.

2016 Legislative Council election

Demosist? initially planned to field chairman Nathan Law in Hong Kong Island and vice-chairman Oscar Lai in Kowloon East. In July 2016, Oscar Lai decided to drop his candidacy in Kowloon East due to the lack of funding. The mailings of the campaign pamphlets of chairman Nathan Law, who was running in Hong Kong Island, were also delayed as the Hongkong Post had to seek legal advice from the justice department regarding Law's pamphlets mentioning phrases such as "self-determination".[14] Law, 23, eventually became the youngest candidate ever to be elected to the Legislative Council after he received 50,818 votes, the second-highest among all candidates in the constituency.[15] Demosisto's electoral allies, environmentalist Eddie Chu and university lecturer Lau Siu-lai who ran with a similar platform of "self-determination" also won seats in New Territories West and Kowloon West.

In the Legislative Council, Demosist? and its allies joined the 27-strong pro-democracy caucus. In the 2017 Chief Executive election, the party and other radical democrats backed the League of Social Democrats legislator Leung Kwok-hung to run against the two former government officials Carrie Lam and John Tsang, who was backed by the mainstream pro-democrats.[16] Leung later dropped out after failing to grab enough signatures in an unofficial civil petition.[17]

Disqualifications and imprisonment

In July 2017, Nathan Law was ousted from the Legislative Council over their manners at the oath-taking ceremony at the inaugural meeting with three other pro-democracy legislators, Leung Kwok-hung, Lau Siu-lai and Yiu Chung-yim, losing the party's only elected representation.[18] The controversy, triggered by two pro-independence legislators, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of Youngspiration resulted in the unprecedented legal actions by the government against elected legislators and the controversial interpretation of the Basic Law of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) which led to the disqualification of the six legislators as a result.

In 17 August 2017, Nathan Law and Joshua Wong, the chairman and the secretary-general of Demosist?, were imprisoned alongside former general secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students Alex Chow for their storming into the Civic Square which triggered the 79-day 2014 Hong Kong protests.[19]

Agnes Chow, core member of Demosist?, announced her candidacy for the seat left vacant by Nathan Law in the 2018 Hong Kong Island by-election. However, her candidacy was disqualified by the Electoral Affairs Commission of the basis that she "cannot possibly comply with the requirements of the relevant electoral laws, since advocating or promoting 'self-determination' is contrary to the content of the declaration that the law requires a candidate to make to uphold the Basic Law and pledge allegiance to the [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region]."[20]

In the 2019 District Council election, Demosist? secretary-general Joshua Wong, who planned to run for the South Horizons West constituency, received letters from Returning Officers asking if he was running on behalf of his party Demosist? and if he supported the notion of "self-determination" for Hong Kong. More than ten days after the nomination period, acting Returning Officer Laura Liang Aron, who replaced Dorothy Ma Chau Pui-fun who took indefinite sick leave, barred Joshua Wong from running due to political reasons, making Wong the only pro-democrat to be disqualified due to his political stance in the election. Aron issued a six-page ruling noting that Wong dropped his advocacy of the option of independence as "a compromise, instead of a genuine intention" as Wong referred to President Xi Jinping's remarks on separatism as a "stern threat" and reason for him and Demosist? to give up the advocacy of independence. Wong said the Returning Officer's decision showed that the central government was rigging the election, which was expected to be a key test of public sentiment about the protest movement.[21][22]

Abandoning "self-determination" advocacy

After a series of disqualification of the Demosist? candidates, the party passed a resolution in January 2020 to abandon its advocacy on "democratic self-determination" on its platform, replacing with "democratic and progressive values".[23]




  • Oscar Lai, 2016-17
  • Tiffany Yuen, 2017-18
  • Issac Cheng, 2019-present


Deputy Secretaries-General

  • Agnes Chow, 2016-17
  • Kwok Hei-yiu, 2017-18
  • Chan Kok-hin, 2018-present

Performance in elections

Legislative Council elections

Election Number of
popular votes
% of
popular votes
Total seats +/- Position
2016 50,818Steady 2.34Steady 1 0
1Increase 10thSteady


  1. ^ (10 September 2016). ": /?:". Ming Pao (in Chinese).
  2. ^ ":". New Bloom. 28 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Demosist? ". Apple Daily. 6 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Joshua Wong's party named 'Demosisto'". Radio Television Hong Kong. 6 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "About Us".
  6. ^ "?". RTHK. 11 January 2020.
  7. ^ Sum, Lok-kei; Chung, Kimmy (6 June 2018). "Will shift from Hong Kong politics to social activism give Occupy poster boy Joshua Wong's Demosisto Party a new sense of purpose?". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Joshua Wong to launch new political party, Demosist?, Sunday". Ejnisight. 7 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Demosist? ?". HK01. 6 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Demosist ". Apple Daily. 6 April 2016.
  11. ^ " ". Liberty Times. 17 February 2016.
  12. ^ "? 145?". Stand News. 20 March 2016.
  13. ^ " ". Stand News. 10 April 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ a b Cheung, Tony (4 August 2016). "Undue caution? Joshua Wong blasts Hong Kong officials over hold-ups in Demosisto party registration and mailings".
  15. ^ "(HK elections) Nathan Law elected as youngest lawmaker; Ricky Wong falls short". The Standard. 5 September 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung enters chief executive race, urging allies not to vote for 'lesser evils'". South China Morning Post. 8 February 2017.
  17. ^ "?:2?". Apple Daily. 25 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Four More Hong Kong Lawmakers Ousted in a Blow to Democratic Hopes". Time. 17 July 2017.
  19. ^ Siu, Jasmine (18 August 2017). "Joshua Wong and other jailed Hong Kong leaders see political careers halted". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ "Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow banned from Legco by-election". South China Morning Post. 27 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Hong Kong Bars Joshua Wong, a Prominent Activist, From Seeking Election". The New York Times. 29 October 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  22. ^ "Democracy activist Joshua Wong barred from running in Hong Kong district council election". South China Morning Post. 29 October 2019. Archived from the original on 29 October 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  23. ^ "Dropping self-determination not a compromise". Retrieved 2020.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes