Two localist candidates have been disqualified from running in September’s Legislative Council elections after they refused to pledge to uphold the Basic Law.
Yeung Ke-cheong of the Democratic Progressive Party wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday that his candidacy in Kowloon West had been invalidated by the Electoral Affairs commission. The separatist Hong Kong National Party’s Chan Ho-tin also reported receiving an email on Saturday, stating that his application to join the election in the New Territories West Constituency had been banned.
Both Ho and Yeung refused to sign an additional declaration form that was introduced by the Electoral Affairs Commission weeks ago that acknowledged that Hong Kong is unquestionably a part of mainland China. Yeung also did not sign the standard nomination form required by the Legislative Council Ordinance.
In his statement, Yeung explained his invalidation was due to his refusal to support the Basic Law. “I think the relevant legal clauses have violated basic human rights and freedom of speech ... on this basis I will launch a judicial review.”
Meanwhile, Chan vowed to stage a series of actions to “subvert” the polls.
“I have already signed the form but [the returning officer] suggested my pledge is not sincere enough. Apparently the decision has nothing to do with law but political views,” Chan told RTHK’s City Forum on Sunday.
Eric Cheung Tat-ming, a legal scholar from the University of Hong Kong, worried that returning officers were being “subjective” in making political decisions to validate candidates’ nomination when their duties lie largely in administrative matters. He was also concerned about if Beijing would use this chance to reinterpret the law.
Barrister Ronny Tong Ka-wah, a moderate pro-democracy figure, said the decision was in accordance with the law, which was “clear with no grey area” and that advocating Hong Kong’s independence went against the Legislative Council Ordinance.