The candidacy of pro-independence Legislative Council candidate Chan Chak-to has been confirmed. He has not received any questions or challenges from returning officers after he submitted his nomination form last week.

Chan, of the Kowloon East Community group, told HKFP that he will continue to speak out for Hong Kong independence at election forums, in election mail-outs and promotional material.

“Our team will not avoid the issue of Hong Kong independence and self-determination,” said Chan, an engineer who is running in the Kowloon East constituency.

Chan Chak-to
Chan Chak-to. Photo: Facebook/KowloonEastCommunity.

His group formed an alliance with two other political groups to run in three different constituencies. The candidates refused to sign a new confirmation form asking them to declare that they will uphold three Basic Law articles on China’s sovereignty over Hong Kong.

At the alliance’s launch event on July 10, Chan and Youngspiration‘s Wong Chun-kit and Yau Wai-ching said they personally support Hong Kong independence. The alliance itself supports Hong Kong people’s right to self-determination but did not put independence into its policy.

Emails from returning officers

Some localist candidates who supported Hong Kong independence in the past have received emails from returning officers inquiring about their political stance. The emails ask whether they will continue to support independence after signing a declaration on their nomination forms vowing to uphold the Basic Law.

Yau submitted her nomination form on July 18, planning to run in the Kowloon West constituency. As of Wednesday, Yau, like Chan, has not received any notification from returning officers.

Yau wrote an email to her constituency’s returning officer Franco Kwok Wai-fung on Wednesday, asking if she was required to submit any other materials.

Yau Wai-ching
Yau Wai-ching. Photo: Youngspiration.

“If [we] have completed the nomination process according to procedure, why has the returning officer not replied to confirm the nomination as of today?” she wrote.

She wrote that she hoped the returning officer could give an answer to confirm her candidacy as soon as possible, so that her team can focus on their election campaign.

‘Pressure from the public’

Chan Chak-to also urged the election regulatory body to confirm the candidacy of other LegCo hopefuls as soon as possible.

“We warn the Electoral Affairs Commission not to – on the basis of political stance – delay or reject the candidacy of anyone,” Chan said. “Such an act would be political censorship, and an insult to the Basic Law.”

But he added that “pressure from the public” is needed to push the commission.

Pan-democrats holding signs saying they refuse to sign the new confirmation form. Photo: Facebook/Dennis Kwok.

The nomination of many pan-democratic candidates, who also refused to sign the confirmation form, have been confirmed by returning officers.

However, some who support the self-determination of Hong Kong have yet to be confirmed as candidates. Candidates from radical pro-democracy parties the League of Social Democrats and People Power are in the same situation.

The nomination period for the election ends on Friday, and a briefing for confirmed candidates is scheduled for August 2.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.