The government said yesterday that Legislative Council election candidates will face possible “follow-up actions” if they declare their support for Hong Kong independence.
Without specifying what the possible actions might be, the warning came just a day after a third Legco candidate, Kacee Wong Sum-yu, said she supported independence.
“The government is concerned that ... individual candidates have during the election period advocated or promoted the independence of the Hong Kong SAR,” a government spokesman said, adding that this was against the statutory declaration that they would uphold the Basic Law.
The government had already disqualified six pro-independence candidates before nominations closed. But there were rumours that the government would also try to disqualify more candidates before the Legislative Council elections on Sunday, after a pro-establishment online portal, HKG Pao, quoted “internal sources” as saying that more separatist candidates would be removed from the race.
Speaking to Young Post, Jonathan Man Ho-ching, a lawyer and a political scientist, said the decision could affect the results. Man, of the Progressive Lawyers Group, said: “I haven’t seen a candidate booted out of the race after the nomination period ended. But if that happens, I believe the localist advocates who had their candidacy invalidated will lodge a petition to overturn the election results.”
A political scientist at Chinese University, Ivan Choy Chi-keung said banning separatist candidates from the race would have a big impact on the election result.
“If more localist candidates were disqualified, it would trigger a lot of emotion among moderate and young voters, and encourage them to vote for the remaining radical localist candidates,” says Choy.